Etymology
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y- 

perfective prefix, in yclept, etc.; a deliberate archaism, introduced by Spenser and his imitators, representing an authentic Middle English prefix y-, earlier i-, from Old English ge-, originally meaning "with, together" but later a completive or perfective element, from Proto-Germanic *ga- "together, with" (also a collective and intensive prefix), from PIE *kom "beside, near, by, with" (cognate with Sanskrit ja-, Latin com-, cum-; see com-). It is still living in German and Dutch ge-, and survives, disguised, in some English words (such as alike, aware, handiwork).

Among hundreds of Middle English words it formed are yfallen, yhacked ("completely hacked," probably now again useful), yknow, ymarried, ywrought.

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bis- 

word-forming element meaning "twice," from Latin bis "twice, in two ways, doubly," from Old Latin dvis, cognate with Sanskrit dvih, Avestan bish, Greek dis, Middle High German zwis "twice," from PIE root *dwo- "two." Also the form of bi- used before -s-, -c-, or a vowel.

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vice- 

word-forming element meaning "deputy, assistant, substitute," also "instead of, in place of," 15c., from Latin vice "in place of," ablative of vicis "a change, a turn, interchange alternation" (from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind"). In Middle English sometimes borrowed in Old French form vis-, vi-.

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di- (2)

word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "apart, asunder," the form of dis- before certain voiced consonants. As des- was a form of dis- in Old French, some Middle English words have forms in both de- and di-; compare devise, which really belongs to di- and is related to divide.

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fore- 

Middle English for-, fore-, from Old English fore-, often for- or foran-, from fore (adv. & prep.), which was used as a prefix in Old English as in other Germanic languages with a sense of "before in time, rank, position," etc., or designating the front part or earliest time.

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great- 

word-forming element denoting "kinship one degree further removed," early 15c. (in great uncle), from great (adj.), based on similar use of French grand (see grand-). An Old English way of saying "great-grandfather" was þridda fæder, literally "third father;" in early Middle English furþur ealdefader was used (12c.).

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pur- 

Middle English and Anglo-French perfective prefix, corresponding to Old French por-, pur- (Modern French pour), from Vulgar Latin *por-, a variant of Latin pro "before, for" (see pro-). This is the earliest form of the prefix in English, and it is retained in some words, but in others it has been corrected to Latinate pro-.

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col- 

assimilated form of com- "with, together" before stems beginning in -l-. In early Latin, com- was assimilated to these as con-, but col- later also was used. Latin words in coll- became col- in Old French and thus in early Middle English but were altered back to coll- with the revival of learning.

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cn- 

initial consonant combination used in Old English (the Clark Hall dictionary has 82 entries under cn-), but not now admitted in speech, the n- only being sounded. In Middle English spelling all were lost or turned to kn-. It also is retained in the spelling of some Latinized words from Greek, where initial kn- was common.

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psilo- 

before vowels psil-, word-forming element meaning "stripped, bare," used mostly in forming scientific terms, from Greek psilos "bare, naked; mere," perhaps akin to psēn "to rub," and both or either perhaps from PIE root *bhes- "to rub" (source also of Greek psamathos "sand;" see sand (n.)). Middle English had psilotre "a depilatory ointment" (c. 1400).

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