How Do You Spell UN?

Pronunciation: [ˈʌn] (IPA)

The word "un" is a prefix used in English language to negate the meaning of the root word. Its spelling is derived from the phonetic transcription of its pronunciation, ʌn, which represents the short vowel sound "uh" followed by the consonant "n". IPA transcription of this prefix shows that it can be pronounced differently depending on the word it is combined with. For example, in "unhappy", it has a weak stress on the first syllable and is pronounced as /ʌn/ while in "unfair", it has a strong stress on the first syllable and is pronounced as /ʌn/.

UN Meaning and Definition

  1. Un is a prefix that is derived from the Latin word "unus," meaning "one" or "not." As a prefix, "un" is primarily used to form negative words by expressing negation, lack, or reversal of the root word or its meaning. It carries the sense of "not" or "the opposite of" and is thus commonly employed to indicate the absence or denial of something. When added to a word, "un" typically conveys the idea of the contrary or the refusal of the quality expressed by the root word.

    For instance, when "un" is added to "happy," it creates "unhappy," which implies the absence of happiness or a feeling of sadness. In the context of verbs, "un" conveys the action's opposite or the cessation of it. For instance, "do" becomes "undo," suggesting the reversal or negation of an action already performed. Similarly, "un" added to "tie" results in "untie," meaning to undo or release something that was previously fastened or bound.

    Moreover, "un" can also denote the absence of a certain condition or characteristic. For instance, "uneducated" implies a lack of formal schooling or learning, while "unhealthy" indicates the absence of good health or well-being. In summary, the prefix "un" functions as a versatile tool to denote negation, denial, reversal, or absence, allowing for the creation of numerous words that convey the opposite or lack of the quality expressed by the root word.

  2. A prefix signifying "not"; the opposite of; un, signifying "not," or "the opposite of," may be used before almost any adjective, as in unfruitful, the opposite of fruitful; before nouns derived from adjectives, as in unfruitfulness, the opposite of fruitfulness, and before adverbs, as in unfruitfully; un before a verb signifies "to take off"; to deprive of; to undo; to destroy,-as in undress, to take off dress. Note.-Those words only are given which are in most general use; when not found, turn to the word, less the prefix un, or to the primary word, for further explanations and the roots.Un is equivalent to the Latin prefix in when it signifies not. In the use of un or in before adjectives, usage has greatly varied. As to when it is proper, according to the best usage, to write un or in, the best guide is to consult the dictionary. In many cases both in and un are in good use as prefixes for the same word, and are used indifferently, some writers preferring un and others in.

    Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

Top Common Misspellings for UN *

* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.

Other Common Misspellings for UN

Etymology of UN

The word "un" is a short form of the prefix "un-" in English. The etymology of "un-" traces back to the Old English prefix "un-", which was used to indicate negation, lack, or reversal. It can be traced further back to the Proto-Germanic prefix "un-" and the Proto-Indo-European root "*ne-", both of which also had similar meanings of negation or reversal. So, the word "un" ultimately comes from ancient linguistic roots and has retained its meaning across various languages.

Idioms with the word UN

  • (un)til the cows come home The idiom "(un)til the cows come home" refers to a long or indefinite period of time. It implies that someone will continue doing an action or something will continue happening for a very prolonged duration, possibly even until a hypothetical event like the return of cows (which are usually out to graze for a long time).

Similar spelling words for UN


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