1620s, "lack affection for" (a sense now obsolete); 1640s, "alienate the affection of, make less friendly" (the main modern sense), from dis- + affect (v.1). Related: Disaffected; disaffecting.
Entries linking to disaffect
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).
"to make a mental impression on," 1630s; earlier "to attack" (c. 1600), "act upon, infect" (early 15c.), from affect (n.) or from Latin affectus "disposition, mood, state of mind or body produced by some external influence." Related: Affected; affecting. "The two verbs, with their derivatives, run into each other, and cannot be completely separated" [Century Dictionary].
"estranged, hostile, having the affections alienated," usually in reference to one displeased with the actions of an authority or a party, "disloyal," 1630s, past-participle adjective from disaffect. Related: Disaffectedly; disaffectedness.
updated on August 23, 2018
Dictionary entries near disaffect