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a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from Greek, where it was joined to verbs, deverbal forms, and other parts of speech. Among its functions in Greek, apo-, has the spatial sense “away, off, apart” (apogee; apocope; apostasy; apostrophe); it occurs with deverbals that denote a response or defense (apodosis; apology) and is found on verbs having perfective force relative to a corresponding simple verb (apoplexy; aposiopesis). In modern scientific coinages in English and other languages, apo-, marks things that are detached, separate, or derivative (apocarpous; apoenzyme).
Also, especially before a vowel, ap-.
< Greek, prefixal use of apó; akin to off, Sanskrit apa, Latin ab Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for apo-


away from; off apogee
indicating separation of apocarpous
indicating a lack or absence of apogamy
indicating derivation from or relationship to apomorphine
Word Origin
from Greek apo away, off
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for apo-
prefix meaning "from, away from, separate," from Gk. apo, from PIE base *apo- "off, away" (cf. Skt. apa "away from," Avestan apa "away from," L. ab "away from, from," Goth. af, O.E. of "away from").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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apo- in Medicine

apo- or ap-

  1. Away from; off: aponeurosis.

  2. Separate: apocrine.

  3. Without; lacking; not: apoferritin.

  4. Related to; derived from: apomorphine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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