en

[ en ]
/ ɛn /
|

noun

the letter N, n.
Also called nut. Printing. half of the width of an em.

adjective

Printing. having the area of an en quad or the length of an en: en quad; en dash.

Nearby words

  1. emulsify,
  2. emulsion,
  3. emulsoid,
  4. emunctory,
  5. emv,
  6. en ami,
  7. en attendant,
  8. en bloc,
  9. en brochette,
  10. en brosse

Origin of en

First recorded in 1785–95

en-

1

a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from French and productive in English on this model, forming verbs with the general sense “to cause (a person or thing) to be in” the place, condition, or state named by the stem; more specifically, “to confine in or place on” (enshrine; enthrone; entomb); “to cause to be in” (enslave; entrust; enrich; encourage; endear); “to restrict” in the manner named by the stem, typically with the additional sense “on all sides, completely” (enwind; encircle; enclose; entwine). This prefix is also attached to verbs in order to make them transitive, or to give them a transitive marker if they are already transitive (enkindle; enliven; enshield; enface).
Also before labial consonants, em-1.

Compare be-, in-2.

Origin of en-

1
Middle English < Old French < Latin in- in-2

en-

2

a prefix meaning “within, in,” occurring in loanwords from Greek: energy; enthusiasm.
Also before labial consonants, em-2.

Origin of en-

2
< Greek (often through L); cognate with in-1, in-2

-en

1

a suffix formerly used to form transitive and intransitive verbs from adjectives (fasten; harden; sweeten), or from nouns (heighten; lengthen; strengthen).

Origin of -en

1
Middle English, Old English -n- (as in Middle English fast-n-en, Old English fǣst-n-ian to make fast, fasten); cognate with -n- of like verbs in other Gmc languages (Old Norse fastna)

-en

2

a suffix used to form adjectives of source or material from nouns: ashen; golden; oaken.

Origin of -en

2
Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old High German -īn, Gothic -eins, Latin -īnus; see -ine1

-en

3

a suffix used to mark the past participle in many strong and some weak verbs: taken; proven.

Origin of -en

3
Middle English, Old English; cognate with German -en, Old Norse -inn

-en

4

a suffix used in forming the plural of some nouns: brethren; children; oxen.

Origin of -en

4
Middle English; Old English -an, case ending of n-stem nouns, as in naman oblique singular, and nominative and accusative plural of nama name; akin to n-stem forms in other IE languages, as in Latin nōmen, nōmin- name

-en

5

a diminutive suffix: kitten; maiden.

Origin of -en

5
Middle English, Old English, from neuter of -en2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for en


British Dictionary definitions for en

en

/ (ɛn) /

noun

printing a unit of measurement, half the width of an emAlso called: nut See also ennage

EN

abbreviation for (in Britain)

enrolled nurse
English Nature

-en

1

suffix forming verbs

cause to be; become; cause to haveblacken; heighten

Word Origin for -en

Old English -n-, as in fæst-n-ian to fasten, of common Germanic origin; compare Icelandic fastna

-en

2

suffix forming adjectives

of; made of; resemblingashen; earthen; wooden

Word Origin for -en

Old English -en; related to Gothic -eins, Latin -īnus -ine 1

en-

1

em-

prefix forming verbs and verbal derivatives

(from nouns)
  1. put in or onentomb; enthrone
  2. go on or intoenplane
  3. surround or cover withenmesh
  4. furnish withempower
(from adjectives and nouns) cause to be in a certain conditionenable; encourage; enrich; enslave

Word Origin for en-

via Old French from Latin in- in- ²

en-

2

em-

prefix forming verbs and verbal derivatives

in; into; insideendemic

Word Origin for en-

from Greek (often via Latin); compare in- 1, in- ²

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 en
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for en

en-

pref.

In; into; within:enzootic.

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