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  1. a prefix meaning “out of,” “from,” and hence “utterly,” “thoroughly,” and sometimes meaning “not” or “without” or indicating a former title, status, etc.; freely used as an English formative: exstipulate; exterritorial; ex-president (former president); ex-member; ex-wife.
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Also e-1, ef-.

Origin of ex-1

< Latin, combining form of ex, ē (preposition) out (of), from, beyond


  1. variant of exo-.
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  1. a prefix identical in meaning with ex- 1, occurring before vowels in words of Greek origin: exarch; exegesis.
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Also ec-.

Origin of ex-3

< Gk combining form of ex, ek, out (of), from, beyond; see ec-, ex-1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


British Dictionary definitions for ex-


  1. out of; outside of; fromexclosure; exurbia
  2. formerex-wife
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Word Origin

from Latin, from ex (prep), identical in meaning and origin with Greek ex, ek; see ec-


combining form
  1. a variant of exo- exergonic
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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 ex-

word-forming element, in English meaning mainly "out of, from," but also "upwards, completely, deprive of, without," and "former;" from Latin ex "out of, from within," from PIE *eghs "out" (cf. Gaulish ex-, Old Irish ess-, Old Church Slavonic izu, Russian iz). In some cases also from Greek cognate ex, ek. PIE *eghs had comparative form *eks-tero and superlative *eks-t(e)r-emo-.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ex- in Medicine


  1. Outside; out of; away from:excementosis.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.