a-


a-
a-1
a reduced form of the Old English preposition on, meaning "on," "in," "into," "to," "toward," preserved before a noun in a prepositional phrase, forming a predicate adjective or an adverbial element (afoot; abed; ashore; aside; away), or before an adjective (afar; aloud; alow), as a moribund prefix with a verb (acknowledge), and in archaic and dialectal use before a present participle in -ing (set the bells aringing); and added to a verb stem with the force of a present participle (ablaze; agape; aglow; astride; and originally, awry).
[ME, late OE; cf. A2, NOWADAYS]
a-2
a reduced form of the Old English preposition of: akin; afresh; anew.
[ME; see A3]
a-3
an old point-action prefix, not referring to an act as a whole, but only to the beginning or end: She arose (rose up). They abided by their beliefs (remained faithful to the end).
[ME; OE a- (unstressed), ae-, a-, o- (stressed; see ABB, WOOF1, OAKUM), rarely or- (see ORDEAL) Gmc *uz- < unstressed IE *uss- < *ud-s, akin to OUT; in some cases confused with A-4, as in ABRIDGE]
a-4
var. of ab- before p and v: aperient; avert.
[ME < L a-, a- (var. of ab- AB-); in some words < F a- < L ab-, as in ABRIDGE]
a-5
var. of ad-, used: (1) before sc, sp, st (ascend) and (2) in words of French derivation (often with the sense of increase, addition): amass.
[ME, in some words < MF a- < L ad- prefix or ad prep. (see AD-), as in ABUT; in others < L a- (var. of ad- AD-), as in ASCEND]
a-6
var. of an-1 before a consonant, meaning "not," "without": amoral; atonal; achromatic.

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Universalium. 2010.


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