Appendix 2 – Prefixes & suffixes

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A prefix is a group of letter at the beginning of a word which changes the word’s meaning.

anti-opposed or preventing/destroyinganti-racist laws, anti-aircraft missile
auto-independently or of yourselfautopilot, autobiography
co-with or togetherco-author, coexist
counter-opposing or as a reaction tocounterattack, counterculture
dis-not or the opposite ofdishonest, disagree
de-to take something awaydeforestation
hyper-having a lot of or too much of a qualityhyperactive, hypersensitive
ill-poorly, in an unsuitable wayill-judged, ill-matched
il-notillegal, illegible
im-notimpossible, implausible
in-notincorrect, indecisive
ir-notirregular, irresponsible
inter-between or amonginternational, interlock, intermingle
mega-a very large amount or hugemega-rich, megacity
micro-very smallmicrochip, microscopic
mini-smallminiskirt, minuscule
mono-one or singlemonolingual, monotone
multi-manymulti-talented, multicultural
out-1. more than or better than others
2. far away from
3. beyond a limit or beyond normal
outnumber, outdo, outwit
outstretch, outlying, outpost
outgrow, outstay, outsize
over-too muchovereat, overpopulated
pre-before or earlier thanpre-tax profits, pre-school
pro-supporting or in favour ofpro-democracy, pro-biotic
re-againredo, reusable, reforestation
sub-1. under, below or less than
2. lesser or smaller part of a larger whole
sub-zero temperatures, subhuman
subsection, subculture
super-more than usual, extreme of its kindsupermodel, super-rich, superbug
trans-1. change one form to another
2. movement from one place to another
transform, translate
transatlantic flights
ultra-extremelyultra-modern, ultra-careful
under-1. not enough
2. below
undercooked, underprivileged
underpass, underwear


A suffix is a group of letters at the end of a word which can change the word’s meaning, or its part of speech, or both. This list contains only those suffixes with special meanings.

who is addicted toworkaholic, chocoholic
can doavoidable, edible
-centricfocussed exclusively onegocentric, Eurocentric
-edhaving this thingaged, beard
-eewho something is done toemployee, interviewee
-enbecome or make becomethicken, fatten
who or what does thiscoordinator, timer
-hoodstate of being and period of timechildhood, motherhood
-ish1. slightly
2. in the way of
3. approximately
greyish, smallish
childish, devilish
to make becomemodernise / modernize
-lesswithouthomeless, thoughtless
-likesimilar tochildlike, lifelike
-ly1. every time
2. in the way of or similar to
daily, monthly
motherly, cowardly
-ologythe study ofpsychology, sociology
-philewho likes, loves or is obsessed withtechnophile, Francophile, bibliophile
-phobewho fearstechnophobe
-phobiafear ofxenophobia, claustrophobia
-proofprotecting against or not damaged bybulletproof, tamper-proof
-ship1. involvement between people or things
2. skill, quality
friendship, ownership
-wardin the direction ofbackward, Northward
-wardsin the direction ofinwards, homewards
-yhaving a lot of (often negative)noisy, dirty, smelly
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