Entries linking to unincorporated
prefix of negation, Old English un-, from Proto-Germanic *un- (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German, German un-, Gothic un-, Dutch on-), from PIE *n- (source of Sanskrit a-, an- "not," Greek a-, an-, Old Irish an-, Latin in-), combining form of PIE root *ne- "not." Often euphemistic (such as untruth for "lie").
The most prolific of English prefixes, freely and widely used in Old English, where it forms more than 1,000 compounds. It underwent a mass extinction in early Middle English, but emerged with renewed vigor 16c. to form compounds with native and imported words. It disputes with Latin-derived cognate in- (1) the right to form the negation of certain words (indigestable/undigestable, etc.), and though both might be deployed in cooperation to indicate shades of meaning (unfamous/infamous), typically they are not.
It also makes words from phrases (such as uncalled-for, c. 1600; undreamed-of, 1630s; uncome-at-able, 1690s; unputdownable, 1947, of a book; un-in-one-breath-utterable, Ben Jonson; etc., but the habit is not restricted to un-; such as put-up-able-with, 1812). As a prefix in telegramese to replace not and save the cost of a word, it is attested by 1936.
late 14c., "to put (something) into the body or substance of (something else), blend; absorb, eat," also "solidify, harden," often in medical writing, from Late Latin incorporatus, past participle of incorporare "unite into one body, embody, include," from Latin in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + verb from corpus (genitive corporis) "body" (from PIE root *kwrep- "body, form, appearance").
Meaning "to legally form a body politic with perpetual succession and power to act as one person, establish as a legal corporation" is from mid-15c. (A verb corporate was used in this sense from early 15c.) Intransitive sense of "unite with another body so as to become part of it" is from 1590s. Related: Incorporated; incorporating.
updated on February 26, 2014