Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to dis-

adroit (adj.)

1650s, "dexterous," originally "rightly," from French adroit, which by Old French had senses "upright (physically and morally); able, clever, skillful; well-formed, handsome; on the right-hand side; veritable," from adverbial phrase à droit "according to right."

This is from Old French à "to" (see ad-) + droit, dreit "right," from Medieval Latin directum (contracted drictum) "right, justice, law," neuter or accusative of Latin directus "straight," past participle of dirigere "set straight," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + regere "to direct, to guide, keep straight" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). It expresses prominently the idea of a trained hand. Related: Adroitly; adroitness.

Advertisement
debacle (n.)

"disaster," 1848, from French débâcle "downfall, collapse, disaster" (17c.), a figurative use, literally "breaking up (of ice on a river) in consequence of a rise in the water," extended to the violent flood that follows when the river ice melts in spring; from débâcler "to free," earlier desbacler "to unbar," from des- "off" (see dis-) + bacler "to bar," from Vulgar Latin *bacculare, from Latin baculum "stick" (see bacillus).

The literal sense is attested in English from 1802, in geology, to explain the landscapes left by the ice ages. Figurative sense of "disaster" was present in French before English borrowed the word.

debar (v.)

early 15c., "to shut out, exclude" (from a place), also "prevent, prohibit" (an action), from French débarrer, from Old French desbarer (12c., which, however, meant only "to unbar, unbolt," from des- "do the opposite of" (see dis-) + barrer "to bar," from barre "bar" (see bar (n.1)). The meaning turned around in French as the de- was felt in a different sense, perhaps as an intensifier. Related: Debarment; debarred.

debark (v.1)

"disembark, land from a ship or boat," 1650s, from French débarquer (16c.), from de- (Old French des-; see dis-) + barque "bark" (see bark (n.2)). Compare disembark. Related: Debarked; debarking; debarkation; debarcation.

decamp (v.)

1670s, "to break camp, depart from a place of encampment" (military), from French décamper (17c.), earlier descamper, from des- (see dis-) + camper (see camp (n.)). Non-military sense of "go away promptly or suddenly" is by 1751. Related: Decamped; decamping.

decry (v.)

1610s, "to cry down, speak disparagingly of;" 1640s, "clamor against actively and publicly," from French decrier (14c.; Old French descrier "cry out, announce"), from des- "apart" (see dis-) + crier "to cry," from Latin quiritare (see cry (v.)). In English, the sense has been colored by the presumption that de- in this word means "down."

deface (v.)
Origin and meaning of deface

mid-14c., "to obliterate" (writing); late 14c., "to mar the face or surface of," from Old French desfacier "mutilate, destroy, disfigure," from des- "away from" (see dis-) + Vulgar Latin *facia (see face (n.)). Weaker sense of "to mar, make ugly" is late 14c. in English. Related: Defaced; defacing.

defeasance (n.)
Origin and meaning of defeasance

early 15c., "a condition on performance of which a deed is rendered void," from Anglo-French defesaunce, Old French desfaisance "undoing, destruction," from desfaire (Modern French défaire) "to undo, destroy," from Vulgar Latin *diffacere "undo, destroy," from Latin dis- "un-, not" (see dis-) + facere "to do, perform," from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." Related: Defease; defeasible.

defeat (v.)
Origin and meaning of defeat

late 14c., defeten, diffaiten, "overcome (with sorrow or anger)," from Anglo-French defeter, from Old French desfait, past participle of desfaire "to undo," from Vulgar Latin *diffacere "undo, destroy," from Latin dis- "un-, not" (see dis-) + facere "to do, perform," from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put."

From early 15c. as "bring ruination, cause destruction" (now obsolete in this sense); from late 15c. as "frustrate, prevent the success of." Sense of "deprive of something expected, desired or striven for" is from 1530s. Meaning "overcome in a contest of any kind" is from 1560s. Related: Defeated; defeating. Compare defect, deficient.

defer (v.1)
Origin and meaning of defer

"to delay, put off, postpone," late 14c., differren, deferren, from Old French diferer (14c.) and directly from Latin differre "carry apart, scatter, disperse;" also "be different, differ;" also "defer, put off, postpone," from assimilated form of dis- "away from" (see dis-) + ferre "to bear, carry," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry." Etymologically identical with differ; their spelling and pronunciation were differentiated from 15c., perhaps partly by association of this word with delay. Related: Deferred; deferring

Page 2