A-

A-

atomic (used in combination): A-bomb; A-plant.
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a-

1
a reduced form of the Old English preposition on, meaning “on,” “in,” “into,” “to,” “toward,” preserved before a noun in a prepositional phrase, forming a predicate adjective or an adverbial element (afoot; abed; ashore; aside; away ), or before an adjective (afar; aloud; alow ), as a moribund prefix with a verb (acknowledge ), and in archaic and dialectal use before a present participle in -ing (set the bells aringing ); and added to a verb stem with the force of a present participle (ablaze; agape; aglow; astride; and originally, awry ).

Origin:
Middle English, late Old English; cf. a2, nowadays

a-

2
a reduced form of the Old English preposition of: akin; afresh; anew.

Origin:
Middle English; see a3

a-

3
an old point-action prefix, not referring to an act as a whole, but only to the beginning or end: She arose (rose up). They abided by their beliefs (remained faithful to the end).

Origin:
Middle English; Old English a- (unstressed), ǣ-, ā-, ō- (stressed; see abb, woof1, oakum), rarely or- (see ordeal) ≪ Germanic *uz- < unstressed Indo-European *uss- < *ud-s, akin to out; in some cases confused with a-4, as in abridge

a-

4
variant of ab- before p and v: aperient; avert.

Origin:
Middle English < Latin ā-, a- (variant of ab- ab-); in some words < French a- < Latin ab-, as in abridge

a-

5
variant of ad-, used: (1) before sc, sp, st (ascend ) and (2) in words of French derivation (often with the sense of increase, addition): amass.

Origin:
Middle English, in some words < Middle French a- < Latin ad- prefix or ad preposition (see ad-), as in abut; in others < Latin a- (variant of ad- ad-), as in ascend

a-

6
variant of an-1. before a consonant, meaning “not,” “without”: amoral; atonal; achromatic.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
a- or (before a vowel) an-1
 
prefix
not; without; opposite to: atonal; asocial
 
[from Greek a-, an- not, without]
 
an- or (before a vowel) an-1
 
prefix
 
[from Greek a-, an- not, without]

a-2
 
prefix
1.  on; in; towards: afoot; abed; aground; aback
2.  literary, archaic or (used before a present participle) in the act or process of: come a-running; go a-hunting
3.  in the condition or state of: afloat; alive; asleep

an- or (before a consonant) a-
 
prefix
not; without: anaphrodisiac
 
[from Greek]
 
a- or (before a consonant) a-
 
prefix
 
[from Greek]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

a-
in native (derived from O.E.) words, it most commonly represents O.E. an "on" (see a (2)), as in alive, asleep, abroad, ashore, etc., forming adjectives and adverbs from nouns; but it also can be M.E. of, as in anew, abreast (1590s); or a reduced form of O.E. pp. prefix ge-, as
in aware; or the O.E. intens. a-, as in arise, awake, ashame, marking a verb as momentary, a single event. In words from Romanic languages, often it represents L. ad- "to, at."
"[I]t naturally happened that all these a- prefixes were at length confusedly lumped together in idea, and the resultant a- looked upon as vaguely intensive, rhetorical, euphonic, or even archaic, and wholly otiose." [OED]

a-
prefix meaning "not," from L. a-, short for ab "away from" (cf. avert), or its cognate, Gk. a-, short for apo "away from, from," both cognate with Skt. apa "away from," Goth. af, O.E. of.

a-
prefix meaning "not," from Gk. a-, an- "not," from PIE base *ne "not" (see un-).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

a- or an-
pref.
Without; not: acellular.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
a-  
A prefix meaning "without" or "not" when forming an adjective (such as amorphous, without form, or atypical, not typical), and "absence of" when forming a noun (such as arrhythmia, absence of rhythm). Before a vowel or h it becomes an- (as in anhydrous, anoxia).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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