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(assimilated as dif- before -f-, to di- before most voiced consonants), word-forming element meaning 1. "lack of, not" (e.g. dishonest); 2. "do the opposite of" (e.g. disallow); 3. "apart, away" (e.g. discard), from Old French des- or directly from Latin dis- "apart, in a different direction, between," figuratively "not, un-," also "exceedingly, utterly," from PIE *dis- "apart, asunder" (cf. Old English te-, Old Saxon ti-, Old High German ze-, German zer-).
The PIE root is a secondary form of *dwis- and thus is related to Latin bis "twice" (originally *dvis) and to duo, on notion of "two ways, in twain."
In classical Latin, dis- paralelled de- and had much the same meaning, but in Late Latin dis- came to be the favored form and this passed into Old French as des-, the form used for new compound words formed in Old French, where it increasingly had a privative sense ("not").
In English, many of these words eventually were altered back to dis-, while in French many have been altered back to de-. The usual confusion prevails.
Absence of; opposite of: disorientation.
Undo; do the opposite of: dislocate.
Deprive of; remove: dismember.
(also diss; on may be added) To show disrespect; insult by slighting; CAP ON someone: The boys on the bus were dissing that girl/ Yet ''dissin','' showing real or apparent disrespect, is cited as the motive in an amazing number of murders/ I'm tired of John dissin' on her all the time (1980s+ Black teenagers)
A drill instructor; noncommissioned officer in charge of recruits (1913+ Marine Corps)
in music, transverse (or side-blown) bamboo flute of the Han Chinese. Traditional di have a membrane of bamboo or reed tissue covering the hole that is located between the mouth hole and the six finger holes. This membrane creates a distinctive sound characteristic of much Chinese flute music. An additional two or more end holes aid in the expulsion of air and are sometimes used to attach decorative silk tassles. Di have a two-octave range, and complete modern sets can be purchased in Western tunings. There are many varieties of traditional lengths and construction