- a prefix occurring in loanwords from Greek (diabetes; dialect) and used, in the formation of compound words, to mean “passing through” (diathermy), “thoroughly,” “completely” (diagnosis), “going apart” (dialysis), and “opposed in moment” (diamagnetism).
Also especially before a vowel, di-.
Origin of dia-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- through, throughout, or duringdiachronic
- (in botany) at right anglesdiatropism
- in opposite or different directionsdiamagnetism
from Greek dia through, between, across, by
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 dia-
before vowels, di-, word-forming element meaning "through, thoroughly, entirely," from Greek dia-, from dia "through, throughout," probably from the root of duo "two" (see two) with a base sense of "twice."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A prefix meaning through or across, as in diameter, the length of a line going through a circle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.