Want a better vocabulary? These 70 common prefixes, suffixes, and roots will help you improve your vocabulary.

Better Vocabulary Prefixes & Roots

Prefixes are the beginning letters of a word.  They generally come from Greek or Latin languages and help to change the meaning of the word.  Here are 10 very common prefixes:

Prefix                                 Meaning                                                     Example

A-, An-                              not, without                                               atypical, atheist, anarchy, anemia, anonymous

Anti-                                  against, counter,                                      antisocial, anti-Semitic, antibody

Pre-                                   before                                                         prejudice, preview, preliminary

Re-                                     again                                                          review, rewind, remember, reinvent

De-                                    opposite, away, against                           deter, deflate, defame, detain, detach

Dis-, Dif-                          not, opposite, undo, away                      distract, dismiss, differ, disrespect, disperse

Mis-                                  not, wrongly, bad                                      mistake, misstep, misappropriate, misspell

Para-                                 alongside, next to, not intersecting      parallel, paraprofessional, parachute, paraphrase

Tele-                                  far away, distant                                       television, telegraph, telephone, telepathy, telekinesis

Un-                                    not, opposite                                              unfair, unbelievable, unreal, unapologetic


Once you know those first 10, you can build thousands of words easily. Better vocabulary comes from knowing the most common prefixes and roots. Here are the first 60 of the next 100+ common prefixes:

Act-,                                 do, act                                                active, activate, react, activity, action, actuate

Acu-                                 sharp                                                  accurate, acupuncture, acute, acumen

Aero-                                air                                                       aerosol, aerial,

Agri-                                soil, earth                                          agriculture, agribusiness, agroindustry

Alter-, Altr                     other                                                   alter ego, altruistic, alteration, altercation

Am-                                 love                                                     amiable, amorous, amicable

Ambi-                              both                                                    ambidextrous, ambivalent, ambitious

Arch-                               chief, rule, first                                 architect, monarchy, anarchy, patriarch

Auto-                               self                                                      automatic, automobile, autocorrect, autograph

Bene-                               good, well                                          benevolent, beneficial, benefactor, benefit

Bi-                                    two                                                      biannual, biped, binoculars

Bio-                                  life                                                       biology, biography, biodiesel, biotechnology

Cent-                               hundred                                              century, centigrade, centimeter, centipede

Co-                                   together                                              cooperate, coordinate, commander, costar, cohabitate

Contr-                             against                                                contradict, contract, contrary

Corp-                               body                                                    corporation, corps, corporal punishment

Demo-                             people                                                 democracy, demographic, demagogue

Dia-                                 through, across                                  diagonal, diachronic, diagnosis, dialect, diatribe, diaphragm

Dic-, Dict-                      say, speak                                            dictate, dictionary, diction, dictator, predict, contradict

Dys-                                 bad, wrongly                                      dysfunctional, dystrophy, dyslexic

Equi-                               equal, same                                        equivalent, equitable, equator, equinox, equilateral

Exter-, Extra-                outside, beyond                                 external, extraordinary, exterior, extrapolate, extravagant

Fac-, Fact-, Fea-           make, do                                              feature, feasible, fact, factory, manufacture

Fid-, Fed-                       true, trust, faith                                  fidelity, federal, fiduciary, confident, confidante, confide

Fin-                                 end                                                         final, finish, finale, refine, define, finite

Fix-                                  repair, attach                                       fix, fixate, prefix, suffix, fixture,

Flu-                                 flow                                                         influence, fluctuate, fluent, fluvial, flush

Fort-                               strength                                                 fort, fortitude, fortify, effort

Form-                             shape                                                      form, conform, reform, formation, format, formula

Gen-                               birth, produce                                       Genesis, genetics, eugenics, generate, generic, generous

Geo-                                earth                                                       geology, geography, geopolitical

Graph-                           write                                                        graph, telegraph, graphic, geographical, autobiography

Hetero-                          other, different                                     heterogeneous, heterosexual, heterodox

Homo-                           same                                                        homogenous, homosexual, homonym, homeopathic

Hum-                             earth, ground                                        human, exhume, humane, humus

Hydr-                             water                                                       hydraulic, hydrant, dehydrate,

Hyper-                           over, above, beyond                             hyperactive, hyperbolic, hyperkinetic, hypersensitive

Hypn-                            sleep                                                        hypnotherapy, hypnotize, hypnotic,

Infra-                             under, below                                          infrastructure, infrared, infra

Inter-                             between, among                                    international, interstate, internet, intercede, interfere

Intra-                             within, inside                                         intramural, intrauterine, intranet

Intro-                             into, toward the inside                        introduction, introspection, introvert, intro

Leg-                                law                                                           legal, legislative, legality, legitimate

Liber-                             free                                                          liberty, liberal, liberalize, liberate, deliverance

Liter-                              letter                                                       literature, literary, alliterate, literal

Loc-                                place                                                       location, locomotion, locate, local, allocate

Loqu-, Locu-                 speak                                                      colloquial, loquacious, circumlocution, eloquent

Lum-, Luc-, Lus-          light                                                        illustrious, luminous, illuminate, lucent

Magn-                             great                                                       magnitude, magnify, magnate, magnanimous

Main-                              strong                                                     maintain, mainstay, mainstream, remain, main

Mal-                                bad, wrong                                             malnutrition, malignant, malformation, malfunction

Man-                               hand                                                        manipulate, maneuver, manage, manual, manufacture

Mega-                              great, big, million                                megaton, megalopolis, megaphone, megalomania

Meta-                              beyond, upon                                        metaphor, metamorphosis, metastasize, metaphysical

Mono-                             one                                                          monopoly, monocle, mononucleosis, monotonous

Morph-                           form, shape                                           morphology, amorphous, morpheme

Multi-                             many                                                       multicultural, multiply, multitude, multilingual

Nasc-, Nat-                    birth                                                        nascent, natal, natural, native, innate, pregnant

Neo-                                new                                                          neonatal, Neolithic, neoconservative, neoclassical

Omni-                             all, every                                                 omniscient, omnipotent, omnibus, omnivorous

Other Prefixes & roots:

10 Most Common Prefixes

250 Common Prefixes & Roots

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