"a-" Definition

  1. A, as a prefix to English words, is derived from various sources. (1) It frequently signifies on or in (from an, a forms of AS. on), denoting a state, as in afoot, on foot, abed, amiss, asleep, aground, aloft, away (AS. onweg), and analogically, ablaze, atremble, etc. (2) AS. of off, from, as in adown (AS. ofd/ne off the dun or hill). (3) AS. a- (Goth. us-, ur-, Ger. er-), usually giving an intensive force, and sometimes the sense of away, on, back, as in arise, abide, ago. (4) Old English y- or i- (corrupted from the AS. inseparable particle ge-, cognate with OHG. ga-, gi-, Goth. ga-), which, as a prefix, made no essential addition to the meaning, as in aware. (5) French a (L. ad to), as in abase, achieve. (6) L. a, ab, abs, from, as in avert. (7) Greek insep. prefix / without, or privative, not, as in abyss, atheist; akin to E. un-.

More About a-

Position in dictionary: 167 of 111710 words.
Word Type: ,
Words that start with "a-": 4
Words that end with "a-": 18
Words that contain "a-": 91
Next words in dictionary: a-mornings, a-sea, a-tiptoe, aam, aard-vark
Previous words in dictionary: a priori, a posteriori, a mensa et thoro, a fortiori, a cappella

English Dictionary Definition of a-

Read all of this dictionary's definitions for the word "a-" on this page. Also learn the word type, other words that start with, end with or contain this word, the position in the dictionary and the next and previous terms. The historical definitions of the word "a-" found on this page is taken from the 1913 edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.