What is Prefix? 100 Types of Prefix With Meaning & Examples

What is a Prefix?

 A Prefix is a letter or a group of characters that we place before or at the beginning of a word to entirely change the meaning of the term. The Prefix is one of the main three types of Affix. For example:

What is the prefix for literate?

The word ‘literate’ means a person who can read and write. But when you place ‘il’ before ‘literate’, it becomes ‘illiterate’ and the meaning of the word becomes totally changed. The word ‘illiterate’ means a person who is unable to read. So, in the word ‘illiterate’, ‘il’ is a Prefix.

Actually, most of the time Prefix is used to create the opposite word.

One more example for you. 

In the above paragraph, you can see the two words ‘able’ and ‘unable’ which are opposite of each other. The word ‘able’ means having the skill and ‘unable’ means lacking the skill. The word ‘unable’ is formed by placing ‘un’ before ‘able’. So, here ‘un’ is a Prefix

Different Types of PREFIXES with Meaning and Examples

      Prefix               Meaning                Examples
a-Not, withoutAtypical, amoral
aero-Connected with air or aircraftAerospace, aerodynamic
agro-, agri- Connected with farmingAgricultural, agroindustry
all-CompletelyIn the highest degreeAn all-inclusive priceAll-important, all-powerful
ambi-Referring to both of twoAmbivalent
anglo-Connected with England and Britain (and another country or countries)Anglo-Indian
ante-Before, in front Antenatal, ante-room
anthropo-Connected with humanAnthropology 
anti-Against The opposite ofPreventing Anticlockwise Anti-war Anti-freeze 
arch-Main, most important or most extremeArchbishop 
astro-Connected with the stars or outer spaceAstrophysics 
audio-Connected with hearing or soundAudio-visual 
auto-About or by yourselfBy itself, without a person to operate itAutobiography automatic
be-To make or treat sb/sth asWearing or covered withTo cause sth to beUsed to turn INTRANSITIVE verbsThey befriended himBejewelled The rebels besieged the fortShe is always bemoaning her lot.
bi-Two, twice, doubleBilingual, bicentenary
bibilo-Connected with booksBibliography 
bio-Connected with living things or human lifeBiodegradable 
by-Less importantnearBy-productA bystander
cardio-Connected with the heartCardiology 
centi-Hundred, hundredthOne hundredthCentipedeCentimetre (= one-hundredth of a metre)
chrono-Connected with timechronology
co-Together withCo-pilot, coexist
contra-Against, opposite

Counter-productive (=producing the opposite of the desired effect)Counterpart 
cross-Involving movement or action from one thing to another or between two thingsCross-fertilize 
crypto-Hidden, secretCrypto-communist 
cyber-Connected with electronic communicationCybercafe 
de-The opposite ofTaking sth awayDecompressDecaffeinated coffee
deca-Ten, having tenDecathlon 
demi-Half, partlyDemi-god 
demo-Connected with people or populationDemocracy 
di-Used in chemistry to refer to substances that contain two atoms of the type mentioned Dioxide 
dis-not , the opposite ofDiscontinue
e-Connected with the use of electronic communication, especially in the Internet, for sending information, doing business etc.E-commerce 
eco-Connected with the environmentEco-friendly 
electro-Connected with electricityElectromagnetism 
en-(em)-To put into the thing or condition mentioned To cause to beEndanger, empowerEnlarge, embolden
equai-Equal, equallyEquidistant 
ex-Former Ex-girlfriend 
extra-Outside, beyond

Very, more than usual
Extraterrestrial (=coming from somewhere beyond the earth)Extra-thin 
fore-Before, in advance
In front of
Foreword (at the beginning of a book)Foreground 
geo-Of the earthGeoscience 
haemo-hemo-Connected with bloodHeptatholon (an athletics competition, usually one for women, that consists of seven different events)
hepta-Seven, having sevenHectometre 
hetero-Other, differentHeterogeneous 
hexa-Six, having sixHexagonal 
homo-The samehomogeneous
hydro-Connected with waterConnected with or mixed with waterHydroelectricity Hydroxide 
hyper-More than normal, too muchHyper-sensitive 
hypo-Under, below normalHypodermic 
In- (il, im-, ir)Not, the opposite ofTo put into the condition mentioned Incorrect, illegalImport, inflame
info-Connected with information An info sheet 
infra-Below a particular limitInfrared 
iso-Equal isotope
kilo-Thousand Kilogram 
macro-Large, on a large scaleMacroeconomics 
mal-Bad or badly, not correct or correctlyMalnutrition 
mega-Very large or greatOne millionMegastoremegawatt
meta-Connected with a change of position or stateHigher, beyond MetamorphosisMetaphysics 
micro-Small, on a small scaleOne-millionth  MicrochipA microlitre 
mid-In the middleMid-afternoon 
milli-One-thousandth Millisecond 
mini-Very smallMini-skirt 
mis-Bad or wrongMisbehaviour 
mono-One, singlemonolingual(=using one language)
multi-Many, more than oneMulticoloured 
nano-One billionth Nanosecond 
neo-New, in a later formneo-fascist
neuro-Connected with the nervesNeuroscience 
non-Not Nor-biodegradable 
octo-Eight, having eightOctogenarian 
off-Not on, away fromOffstage 
oft-Often An oft-repeated claim
omni-Of all things, in all ways or all placesOmnipresence 
ortho-Correct, standardOrthography 
osteo-Connected with bonesOsteopath 
out-Greater, better, further, longer, etc.Outside, away fromOutrun, outdoOutpatient 
over-More than normal, too muchCompletely Upper, outer, extraOvereatOverjoyed Overtime 
paed-(ped-)Connected with children Paediatrics 
palaeo-(paleo-)Connected with ancient timePalaeontology 
pan-Including all of sth, connected dwith the whole of sthPan-African 
para-Beyond Similar to but not official or not fully qualified Paranormal A paramedic 
patho-Connected with diseasePathology 
penta-Five, having five Pentagon, pentathlon 
petro-Connected with rocksConnected with patrolsPetrology Petrochemical 
philo-Liking Philanthropist 
phono-Connected with sound or sounds Phonetic, phonology
photo-Connected with lightConnected with photographyPhotosynthesis Photocopier 
physio-Connected with nature Connected with physiology Physiotherapist 
poly-Many Polygamy 
post-After Post-war
pre-Before Pre-pay, preview
pro-In favour of, supportingPro-democracy 
proto-Original, from which others developPrototype 
pseudo-Not genuine, false or pretendedPseudonym 
psycho-Connected with the mind Psychology 
quad-, quadri-Four, having for quad quadruple(=multiply by four)
quasi-That appears to be sth but is not really soPartly, almostA quasi-scientific explanation Quasi-official body
radio-Connected with radio waves or the activity of sending out radio or television programmes (=broadcasting)Connected with radioactivity Radio-controlled car

re-Again Rewrite, reappearance 
retro-Back or backwardsRetrospective 
self-Of, to or by yourself or itselfSelf-control
semi-Half Semicircle, semi-final
socio-Connected with society or the study of society Socio-economic 
step-Related as a result of one parent marrying againStepmother 
sub-Below, less thanA smaller partSubzero Subdivide 
super-Extremely, more or better than normalAbove, over Superhuman 

Superstructure, superimpose
techno-Connected with technologyTechnophobe (=a person who is afraid of technology
tele-Over a long distance, farConnected with televisionTelepathy, telescopicTeletext 
theo-Connected with God or a godTheology 
thermo-Connected with heatThermo-nuclear 
trans-Across, beyondInto another place or stateTransatlantic Transplant 
tri-Three, having threeTriangle 
ultra-Extremely, beyond a certain limitUltra-modern 
un-Not, the opposite ofIn verbs that describe the opposite of a processUnable, unlock
under-Below Lower in age, level or positionNot enough Underground Under-fives Under-cooked food
uni-One, having oneUniform, unilaterally
up-Higher, upwards, towards the top of sthUpturned 
vice-Next in rank to sb and able to represent them or act for them Vice-captain 

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