a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force (see de-, un-2); used freely, especially with these latter senses, as an English formative: disability; disaffirm; disbar; disbelief; discontent; dishearten; dislike; disown.

Nearby words

  1. dirty work,
  2. dirty-minded,
  3. dis,
  4. dis aliter visum,
  5. dis pater,
  6. dis.,
  7. disability,
  8. disability clause,
  9. disability insurance,
  10. disability rights commission

Also di-.

Origin of dis-

< Latin (akin to bis, Greek dís twice); before f, dif-; before some consonants, di-; often replacing obsolete des- < Old French



variant of di-1 before s: dissyllable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dis-




indicating reversaldisconnect; disembark
indicating negation, lack, or deprivationdissimilar; distrust; disgrace
indicating removal or releasedisembowel; disburden
expressing intensive forcedissever

Word Origin for dis-

from Latin dis- apart; in some cases, via Old French des-. In compound words of Latin origin, dis- becomes dif- before f and di- before some consonants

combining form

variant of di- 1 dissyllable
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 dis-


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for dis-



Absence of; opposite of:disorientation.
Undo; do the opposite of:dislocate.
Deprive of; remove:dismember.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.