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a prefix, occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition, or with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion:
regenerate; refurbish; retype; retrace; revert.
Also, red-.
Origin of re-
Middle English < Latin re-, red- Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for re-
  • Peer review may need to include queries re reproducibility of work.
  • They re more happy, less stressed, and seem to have found a inner peace.
  • What people need to do is re-train themselves in how they think about food.
  • Or a crime scene that can be re-created within seconds.
  • The craft should have a payload bay that could be opened and re-closed for re-entry.
  • With technological advances, the frozen cells might someday be used to re-create populations of species that face extinction.
  • New research shows that memories are constantly being re-written by our minds.
  • There's always the risk that you re-watch it and find yourself doing an impersonation.
British Dictionary definitions for re-


indicating return to a previous condition, restoration, withdrawal, etc: rebuild, renew, retrace, reunite
indicating repetition of an action: recopy, remarry
Usage note
Verbs beginning with re- indicate repetition or restoration. It is unnecessary to add an adverb such as back or again: This must not occur again (not recur again); we recounted the votes (not recounted the votes again, which implies that the votes were counted three times, not twice)
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 re-

word-forming element meaning "back to the original place; again, anew, once more," also with a sense of "undoing," c.1200, from Old French and directly from Latin re- "again, back, anew, against," "Latin combining form concievably from Indo-European *wret-, metathetical variant of *wert- "to turn" [Watkins]. Often merely intensive, and in many of the older borrowings from French and Latin the precise sense of re- is lost in secondary senses or weakened beyond recognition. OED writes that it is "impossible to attempt a complete record of all the forms resulting from its use," and adds that "The number of these is practically infinite ...." The Latin prefix became red- before vowels and h-, e.g. redact, redeem, redolent, redundant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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re- in Medicine

re- pref.

  1. Again; anew: rebreathing.

  2. Backward; back: recurvation.

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