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a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin, where it meant “between,” “among,” “in the midst of,” “mutually,” “reciprocally,” “together,” “during” (intercept; interest); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (intercom; interdepartmental).
Middle English < Latin (in some words replacing Middle English entre- < Middle French < Latin inter-), combining form of inter (preposition and adv.); see interior
Can be confused
inter-, intra-. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for inter-


between or among international
together, mutually, or reciprocally interdependent, interchange
Word Origin
from Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inter-
L. inter (prep., adj.) "among, between," from PIE *enter "between, among" (cf. Skt. antar, O.Pers. antar "among, between," Gk. entera (pl.) "intestines," O.Ir. eter, O.Welsh ithr "among, between," Goth. undar, O.E. under "under"), a comparative of *en- "in." Also in certain L. phrases in Eng., such as inter alia "among other things." Spelled entre- in Fr., most words borrowed into Eng. in that form were re-spelled 16c. to conform with L. except entertain, enterprise.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inter- in Medicine

inter- pref.

  1. Between; among: interdental.

  2. In the midst of; within: interoceptor.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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inter- in Science
A prefix meaning "between" or "among," as in interplanetary, located between planets.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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