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a prefix applied to various parts of speech, meaning “ill,” “mistaken,” “wrong,” “wrongly,” “incorrectly,” or simply negating:
mistrial; misprint; mistrust.
Origin of mis-1
Middle English; Old English mis(se)-; cognate with German miss-, Gothic missa- (see miss1; ); often replacing Middle English mes- < Old French < West Germanic *mis(s)-


variant of miso- before some vowels:


[mee] /mi/
noun, Music.
the syllable used for the third tone of a diatonic scale.
(in the fixed system of solmization) the tone E.
Compare sol-fa (def 1).
1520-30; see gamut Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for MIS
  • We all do get too wrapped up in MIS-interpreted and MIS-collected statistics, don't we.
  • Autism has some of these same MIS communications in the neuron communications.
  • The need for self-control is only there when our needs and wants, guided or MIS-guided, create the temptation for us.
  • One should never trust a MIS-worded compliment from a source that should know how to use language correctly.
  • In fact, one of the great delights that children have is figuring out when MIS-direction and MIS-truth has been used.
  • Webmaster, please forgive my duplication MIS-statement.
  • Eugenics and master races were MIS-applications of science for politically motivated reasons.
  • Your statements clearly reflect a MIS-understanding of the scientific method.
  • Moreover, to MIS-estimate athletics is equally bad whether their importance is magnified or minimized.
  • All is MISconceived, and its MIS-execution is equal to its MISconception.
British Dictionary definitions for MIS


(music) (in tonic sol-fa) the third degree of any major scale; mediant
Word Origin
C16: see gamut


Military Intelligence


wrong, bad, or erroneous; wrongly, badly, or erroneously: misunderstanding, misfortune, misspelling, mistreat, mislead
lack of; not: mistrust
Word Origin
Old English mis(se)-; related to Middle English mes-, from Old French mes-; compare Old High German missa-, Old Norse mis-


a variant of miso-
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 MIS


prefix meaning "bad, wrong," from Old English mis-, from Proto-Germanic *missa- "divergent, astray" (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon mis-, Middle Dutch misse-, Old High German missa-, German miß-, Old Norse mis-, Gothic missa-), perhaps literally "in a changed manner," and with a root sense of "difference, change" (cf. Gothic misso "mutually"), and thus from PIE *mit-to-, from root *mei- "to change" (see mutable); cf. Watkins.

Others [Barnhart] see in Proto-Germanic *missa- the stem of an ancient past participle, related to Old English missan "fail to hit" (see miss (v.)), which is from the same PIE root.

Productive as word-forming element in Old English (e.g. mislæran "to give bad advice, teach amiss"). In 14c.-16c. in a few verbs its sense began to be felt as "unfavorably" and was used as an intensive prefix with verbs already expressing negative feeling (e.g. misdoubt). Practically a separate word in Old and early Middle English (and often written as such). Old English also had an adjective (mislic "diverse, unlike, various") and an adverb (mislice "in various directions, wrongly, astray") derived from it, corresponding to German misslich (adj.).

in mischief, miscreant, etc., represents Old French mes- "bad, badly, wrong, wrongly," from Vulgar Latin minus-, from Latin minus "less" (see minus), which was not used as a prefix. Perhaps influenced in Old French by *miss-, the Frankish equivalent of mis- (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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MIS in Medicine

MI abbr.
myocardial infarction

mis- 1
Bad; badly; wrong; wrongly: misdiagnosis.

mis- 2
Variant of miso-.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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MIS in Science
Abbreviation of mile
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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MIS in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for MIS


  1. management information services
  2. management information system
  3. manager of information services






  1. mentally impaired
  2. Michigan
  3. military intelligence
  4. mitral insufficiency
  5. mode indicator
  6. multiple intelligences
  7. myocardial infarction
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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