1(added to adjectives, participles, and their derivatives) denoting the absence of a quality or state; not.‘unabashed’
- 1.1The reverse of (usually with an implication of approval or disapproval, or with another special connotation)‘unselfish’
2(added to nouns) a lack of.‘unrest’
The prefixes un- and non- both mean ‘lacking’ or ‘not,’ but there is a distinction in terms of perspective. The prefix un- tends to be stronger and less neutral than non-. Consider, for example, the differences between unacademic and nonacademic, as in his language was refreshingly unacademic; a nonacademic life suits him
Old English, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin in- and Greek a-.
1(added to verbs) denoting the reversal or cancellation of an action or state.‘untie’
2(added to verbs) denoting deprivation, separation, or reduction to a lesser state.‘unmask’
- 2.1(added to verbs) denoting release.‘unburden’
Old English un-, on-, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ont- and German ent-.