Semi-, hemi-, and demi-

Semi-, hemi- and demi- are all prefixes that mean the same thing for the most part, but are used in different circumstances. A prefix is a set of letters that is affixed to the beginning of a word in order to give it a new meaning. Prefixes are not words that may stand alone. Semi- is a prefix that means half, partially or almost. Semi- may also mean something that occurs twice within a specific amount of time. The prefix semi- is derived from the Latin semi- which means half. Most often, … [Read more...]

Poly- vs mono-

Poly- and mono- are prefixes that often used in the English language and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of poly- and mono-, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Poly- means many, a lot, a large quantity. Poly- is used to mean many types of something or many of those items. Some examples of words that use the prefix poly- are polygamy, which means being married to more than husband or wife at a time, polychrome which means having … [Read more...]


Nano- is a prefix that was introduced at the Union Internationale de Chimie in 1947, though it came into more general use in the 1960s. We will examine the definition of the prefix nano-, how it is used, and some examples of that use in sentences. Nano- was coined in 1947 to mean a unit that is one thousand-millionth part in measurement, such as a nanometer. In time, the prefix nano- has come to also mean something that is submicroscopic in size, such as a nanotube. The field devoted to … [Read more...]


Cyber- is a prefix that has gained popularity since the middle of the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the prefix cyber-, where it came from and some examples of its use in words and sentences. Cyber- is a prefix that designates something pertaining to computers, virtual reality and electronic communication. The prefix cyber- was first used in this capacity in the word cybernetics, a term coined by mathematician Norbert Wiener in the 1940s to denote machines and biological … [Read more...]

Ante- vs anti-

Ante- and anti- are prefixes. Though spelled and pronounced similarly, they have very different meanings. Learning the definitions of ante- and anti- is a good way to understand how to spell various words. We will look at the meaning of ante- and anti-, where these prefixes come from and some examples of their use in sentences. The prefix ante- means preceding or before, in relation to physical position or point in time. The prefix ante- is derived from the Latin word ante, which means in … [Read more...]

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