Words related to dys-

dystopia (n.)

"imaginary bad place," 1952, from dys- "bad, abnormal" + ending abstracted from utopia. Earlier in medical use, "displacement of an organ" (by 1844), with second element from Greek topos "place" (see topos). Dystopian was used in the non-medical sense in 1868 by J.S. Mill:

I may be permitted, as one who, in common with many of my betters, have been subjected to the charge of being Utopian, to congratulate the Government on having joined that goodly company. It is, perhaps, too complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather to be called dys-topians, cacotopians. What is commonly called Utopian is something too good to be practicable; but what they appear favour is too bad to be practicable. [speech, March 12, 1868]
dystrophy (n.)

also distrophy, "defective nutrition," 1858, from Modern Latin dystrophia, distrophia, from Greek dys- "hard, bad, ill" (see dys-) + trophe "nourishment" (see -trophy). Related: Dystrophic.


word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "bad, badly, ill, poorly, wrong, wrongly," from French mal (adv.), from Old French mal (adj., adv.) "evil, ill, wrong, wrongly" (9c.), from Latin male (adv.) "badly," or malus (adj.) "bad, evil" (fem. mala, neuter malum), from Proto-Italic *malo-, from PIE *mol-o-, probably from PIE root *mel- (3) "false, bad, wrong."

Most Modern English words with this element are 19c. coinages. It generally implies imperfection or deficiency, but often it is simply negative (as in malfeasance, malcontent). It is equivalent to dys- and caco- of Greek origin and Germanic mis- (1).

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