noun Music.

the syllable used for the third tone of a diatonic scale.
(in the fixed system of solmization) the tone E.Compare sol-fa(def 1).

Origin of mi

First recorded in 1520–30; see origin at gamut



a prefix applied to various parts of speech, meaning “ill,” “mistaken,” “wrong,” “wrongly,” “incorrectly,” or simply negating: mistrial; misprint; mistrust.

Origin of mis-

Middle English; Old English mis(se)-; cognate with German miss-, Gothic missa- (see miss1;); often replacing Middle English mes- < Old French < West Germanic *mis(s)-



variant of miso- before some vowels: misanthrope.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mis

Contemporary Examples of mis

Historical Examples of mis

  • So no more at present, and I hope dear mis'ess it won't kill you to hear on it.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Mis' Eben Smith's got eight young ones down with the whoopin'-cough.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • When she done that, Mis' Maddox alles hed to take a back seat.

    The Village Watch-Tower

    (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • Mis' Pegrum's house ain't but a stone's throw from yourn, is it?

    The Green Satin Gown

    Laura E. Richards

  • Then she says: 'Did it have a mis'ble day in hateful old class-room?

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

British Dictionary definitions for mis


abbreviation for

Military Intelligence




wrong, bad, or erroneous; wrongly, badly, or erroneouslymisunderstanding; misfortune; misspelling; mistreat; mislead
lack of; notmistrust

Word Origin for mis-

Old English mis (se) -; related to Middle English mes-, from Old French mes-; compare Old High German missa-, Old Norse mis-




a variant of miso-




music (in tonic sol-fa) the third degree of any major scale; mediant

Word Origin for mi

C16: see gamut
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 mis



prefix meaning "bad, wrong," from Old English mis-, from Proto-Germanic *missa- "divergent, astray" (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon mis-, Middle Dutch misse-, Old High German missa-, German miß-, Old Norse mis-, Gothic missa-), perhaps literally "in a changed manner," and with a root sense of "difference, change" (cf. Gothic misso "mutually"), and thus from PIE *mit-to-, from root *mei- "to change" (see mutable); cf. Watkins.

Others [Barnhart] see in Proto-Germanic *missa- the stem of an ancient past participle, related to Old English missan "fail to hit" (see miss (v.)), which is from the same PIE root.

Productive as word-forming element in Old English (e.g. mislæran "to give bad advice, teach amiss"). In 14c.-16c. in a few verbs its sense began to be felt as "unfavorably" and was used as an intensive prefix with verbs already expressing negative feeling (e.g. misdoubt). Practically a separate word in Old and early Middle English (and often written as such). Old English also had an adjective (mislic "diverse, unlike, various") and an adverb (mislice "in various directions, wrongly, astray") derived from it, corresponding to German misslich (adj.).



in mischief, miscreant, etc., represents Old French mes- "bad, badly, wrong, wrongly," from Vulgar Latin minus-, from Latin minus "less" (see minus), which was not used as a prefix. Perhaps influenced in Old French by *miss-, the Frankish equivalent of mis- (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mis in Medicine



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

mis in Science


Abbreviation of mile
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.