before vowels mes-, word-forming element meaning "middle, intermediate, halfway," from Greek mesos "middle, in the middle; middling, moderate; between" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle").
an initial sound cluster in words in Old English and early Middle English; among the Old English words were wlanc "stately, splendid;" wlætung "nausea;" wlenc "pride, arrogance" (Middle English wlonk); wlite "brightness, beauty, splendor;" wlitig" radiant, physically beautiful (Middle English wliti).
word-forming element meaning "half, half-sized, partial," used in English from mid-14c., especially in technical terms from French, from Old French demi "half" (12c.), from Late Latin dimedius, from Latin dimidius "half, one-half," which contains the elements dis- "apart" (see dis-) + medius "in the middle, between; from the middle," as a noun "the middle;" from PIE root *medhyo- "middle." Formerly also demy-, and in early use often written as a separate word.
Middle English spelling of a common Germanic consonant-cluster (in Old English it was graphed as cn-; see K). The sound it represented persists in most of the sister languages, but in English it was reduced to "n-" in standard pronunciation by 1750, after about a century of weakening and fading. It was fully voiced in Old and Middle English.
assimilated form of ad- "to, toward, before" before stems beginning in -t-; see ad-. In Old French and Middle English regularly reduced to a-, later restored.
also -art, from Old French -ard, -art, from German -hard, -hart "hardy," forming the second element in many personal names, often used as an intensifier, but in Middle High German and Dutch used as a pejorative element in common nouns, and thus passing into Middle English in bastard, coward, blaffard ("one who stammers"), etc. It thus became a living element in English, as in buzzard, drunkard. The German element is from Proto-Germanic *-hart/*-hard "bold, hardy" (from PIE root *kar- "hard").
"in two ways," a modern word-forming element extracted late 16c. from parti-colored (q.v.). In that word it represents Middle English partie "of two different colors; different," from Old French partie.
the usual form of Latin dis- in Old Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Provençal, and French. In Middle English, interchanging with dis- (which in a later period displaced it), hence such form as desarmen, desdein, deshonour, desparagen, deschargen, despisen, etc.
word forming element indicating "oneself," also "automatic," from Old English use of self (pron.) in compounds, such as selfbana "suicide," selflice "self-love, pride, vanity, egotism," selfwill "free will." Middle English had self-witte "one's own knowledge and intelligence" (early 15c.).
OED counts 13 such compounds in Old English. Middle English Compendium lists four, counting the self-will group as a whole. It re-emerges as a living word-forming element mid-16c., "probably to a great extent by imitation or reminiscence of Greek compounds in (auto-)," and formed a great many words in the pamphlet disputes of the 17c.