Entries linking to unstinting
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.
"to be sparing or frugal," 1722, earlier "to limit, restrain" (1510s), "cause to cease, put an end to" (mid-14c.), "cease, desist" (intransitive), c. 1200, from Old English styntan "to blunt, make dull, stupefy" probably originally "make short," from Proto-Germanic *stuntijanan, from PIE *steud-, extended form of root *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see steep (adj.)).
The Old English verb is cognate with Old Norse stytta (assimilated from earlier *stynta) "to shorten, make short, tuck up;" and the modern sense of the English word might be from Old Norse or from an unrecorded Old English sense. Related to stunt (v.) and stutter (v.). Sense of "be careful in expenditure" is from 1848. Related: Stinted; stinting. The noun is attested from c. 1300.
updated on March 11, 2014
Dictionary entries near unstinting