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Etymology Dictionary

A - Azure


  1. A, the indef. article; see An.

  2. A-, prefix, has at least thirteen different values in English.  α. Representative words are (1) adown; (2) afoot; (3) along; (4) arise; (5) achieve; (6) avert; (7) amend; (8) alas; (9) abyss; (10) ado; (11) aware; (12) apace; (13) avast.  β. The full form of these values may be represented by of-, on-, and-, us-, ad-, ab-, ex-, he-, an-, at-,  ge-, án, houd.  γ. This may be illustrated by means of the examples given; cf. (1) A. S. ofdúne; (2) on foot; (3) A. S. andlang; (4) Mso-Gothic ur-reisan, for us-reisan; (5) verb from F. chef, Lat. ad caput; (6) Lat. auertere, for abuertere; (7) F. amender, corrupted from Lat. emendare, for exmendare; (8) F. hlas, where h  is interjectional; (9) Gk. αβυσσος, for ανβυσσος; (10) for at do, i.e. to do; (11) for M.E. ywar, A. S. gewær; (12) apace, for a pace, i.e. one pace, where a  is for A. S. án, one; (13) avast, Dutch houd vast, hold fast. These prefixes are discussed at greater length in my article 'On the Prefix A- in English,' in the Journal of Philology, vol. v. pp. 32-43. See also each of the above-mentioned representative words in its proper place in this Dictionary.  Prefix a (5) really has two values: (α) French, as in avalanche; (b) Latin, as in astringent; but the source is the same, viz. Lat. ad. Similarly, prefix a (6) really has two values; (α) French, as in abate; (b) Latin, as in avert, avocation; the source being Lat. ab In words discussed below, the prefix has its number assigned in accordance with the above scheme, where necessary.

  3. AB- prefix. (Lat.)  Lat. ab, short form a; sometimes extended to abs. Cognate with Skt. apa, away, from; Gk. από