Words related to debark

Origin and meaning of dis-

word-forming element of Latin origin meaning 1. "lack of, not" (as in dishonest); 2. "opposite of, do the opposite of" (as in disallow); 3. "apart, away" (as in discard), from Old French des- or directly from Latin dis- "apart, asunder, in a different direction, between," figuratively "not, un-," also "exceedingly, utterly." Assimilated as dif- before -f- and to di- before most voiced consonants.

The Latin prefix is from PIE *dis- "apart, asunder" (source also of Old English te-, Old Saxon ti-, Old High German ze-, German zer-). The PIE root is a secondary form of *dwis- and thus is related to Latin bis "twice" (originally *dvis) and to duo, on notion of "two ways, in twain" (hence "apart, asunder").

In classical Latin, dis- paralleled de- and had much the same meaning, but in Late Latin dis- came to be the favored form and this passed into Old French as des-, the form used for compound words formed in Old French, where it increasingly had a privative sense ("not"). In English, many of these words eventually were altered back to dis-, while in French many have been altered back to de-. The usual confusion prevails.

As a living prefix in English, it reverses or negatives what it is affixed to. Sometimes, as in Italian, it is reduced to s- (as in spend, splay, sport, sdain for disdain, and the surnames Spencer and Spence).

bark (n.2)

"any small vessel or ship," early 15c., from French barque "boat" (15c.), from Late Latin barca, which is probably cognate with Vulgar Latin *barica (see barge (n.)). More precise sense of "three-masted ship fore-and-aft rigged on the mizzenmast" (17c.) often is spelled barque to distinguish it.

disembark (v.)

1580s, "put on shore, remove from on board a ship to land," also intransitive, "land from a ship, go on shore," from French desembarquer, from des- (see dis-) + embarquer (see embark). Related: Disembarkation; disembarked; disembarking.


active word-forming element in English and in many verbs inherited from French and Latin, from Latin de "down, down from, from, off; concerning" (see de), also used as a prefix in Latin, usually meaning "down, off, away, from among, down from," but also "down to the bottom, totally" hence "completely" (intensive or completive), which is its sense in many English words.

As a Latin prefix it also had the function of undoing or reversing a verb's action, and hence it came to be used as a pure privative — "not, do the opposite of, undo" — which is its primary function as a living prefix in English, as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), de-escalate (1964), etc. In some cases, a reduced form of dis-.

bark (n.1)
"tree skin, hard covering of plants," c. 1300, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse börkr "bark," from Proto-Germanic *barkuz, which probably is related to birch and Low German borke. The native word was rind.