[duh; French duh; Spanish de; Portuguese di]


from; of (used in French, Spanish, and Portuguese personal names, originally to indicate place of origin): Comte de Rochambeau; Don Ricardo de Aragón.

Origin of de

< French, Spanish, Portuguese < Latin


Delaware (approved especially for use with zip code).
destroyer escort.

D & E

or D and E

dilation and extraction.


[duh; Italian de]


dei (used in Italian names as an elided form of dei): de' Medici.


a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin (decide); also used to indicate privation, removal, and separation (dehumidify), negation (demerit; derange), descent (degrade; deduce), reversal (detract), intensity (decompound).Compare di-2, dis-1.

Origin of de-

Middle English < Latin dē-, prefixal use of (preposition) from, away from, of, out of; in some words, < French < Latin dē- or dis- dis-1


Doctor of Engineering.
driver education. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for de

Contemporary Examples of de

Historical Examples of de

British Dictionary definitions for de



De, before a vowel d' or before a vowel D'

of; from: occurring as part of some personal names and originally indicating place of originSimon de Montfort; D'Arcy; de la Mare

Word Origin for de

from Latin dē; see de-



the internet domain name for



abbreviation for

(formerly in Britain) Department of Employment


prefix forming verbs and verbal derivatives

removal of or from something specifieddeforest; dethrone
reversal of somethingdecode; decompose; desegregate
departure fromdecamp

Word Origin for de-

from Latin, from (prep) from, away from, out of, etc. In compound words of Latin origin, de- also means away, away from (decease); down (degrade); reversal (detect); removal (defoliate); and is used intensively (devote) and pejoratively (detest)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for de

Latin adverb and preposition of separation in space, meaning "down from, off, away from," and figuratively "concerning, by reason of, according to;" from PIE demonstrative stem *de- (see to).


active word-forming element in English and in many words inherited from French and Latin, from Latin de "down, down from, from, off; concerning" (see de), also used as a prefix in Latin usually meaning "down, off, away, from among, down from," but also "down to the bottom, totally" hence "completely" (intensive or completive), which is its sense in many English words. As a Latin prefix it also had the function of undoing or reversing a verb's action, and hence it came to be used as a pure privative -- "not, do the opposite of, undo" -- which is its primary function as a living prefix in English, as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), etc. Cf. also dis-.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

de in Medicine

D & E


dilation and evacuation



Do or make the opposite of; reverse:decomposition.
Remove or remove from:deoxygenation.
Reduce; degrade:decholesterolization.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.