Entries linking to unquiet
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., "peaceable, being in a state of rest, restful, tranquil, not moving or agitated," from Old French quiet and directly from Latin quietus "calm, at rest, free from exertion," from quies (genitive quietis) "rest" (from PIE root *kweie- "to rest, be quiet").
From 1510s as "peaceable, not turbulent, characterized by absence of commotion." By 1590s as "making no noise." From 1570s as "private, secret." As an adverb from 1570s. Quiet American, frequently meaning a U.S. undercover agent or spy, is from the title of Graham Greene's 1955 novel. Related: Quietly; quietness.
updated on February 28, 2014
Dictionary entries near unquiet