Share this entry

Share this page

un-

Definition of un- in English:

prefix

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

Origin

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

Usage

The prefixes un- and non- both mean ‘not’, but there is often a distinction in terms of emphasis. un- tends to be stronger and less neutral than non-: consider the differences between unacademic and non-academic, for example ( his language was refreshingly unacademic; a non-academic life suits him).

Definition of un- in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: dʒɔːnt
noun
a short excursion or journey made for pleasure