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un- Syllabification: un-

Definition of un- in English:


1(Added to adjectives, participles, and their derivatives) denoting the absence of a quality or state; not: unabashed unacademic unrepeatable
1.1The reverse of (usually with an implication of approval or disapproval, or with another special connotation): unselfish unprepossessing unworldly
2(Added to nouns) a lack of: unrest untruth


The prefixes un- and non- both mean ‘lacking’ or ‘not,’ but there is a distinction in terms of perspective. The prefix un- tends to be stronger and less neutral than non-. Consider, for example, the differences between unacademic and nonacademic, as in his language was refreshingly unacademic; a nonacademic life suits him.


Old English, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin in- and Greek a-.

Definition of un- in:
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