word-forming element usually meaning "with, together," from Latin com, archaic form of classical Latin cum "together, together with, in combination," from PIE *kom- "beside, near, by, with" (compare Old English ge-, German ge-). The prefix in Latin sometimes was used as an intensive.
Before vowels and aspirates, it is reduced to co-; before -g-, it is assimilated to cog- or con-; before -l-, assimilated to col-; before -r-, assimilated to cor-; before -c-, -d-, -j-, -n-, -q-, -s-, -t-, and -v-, it is assimilated to con-, which was so frequent that it often was used as the normal form.
before vowels coen-, word-forming element meaning "common," from Latinized form of Greek koinos "common, public, shared, general, ordinary," from PIE *kom "beside, near, by, with" (see com-).
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.
in Latin, the form of com- "together, with" in compounds with stems beginning in vowels, h-, and gn-; see com-. Taken in English from 17c. as a living prefix meaning "together, mutually, in common," and used promiscuously with native words (co-worker) and Latin-derived words not beginning with vowels (codependent), including some already having it (co-conspirator).
Among hundreds of Middle English words it formed are yfallen, yhacked ("completely hacked," probably now again useful), yknow, ymarried, ywrought.