a-, ab-, abs-

(Latin: prefix; from, away, away from)


This prefix is normally used with elements of Latin and French origins (abs- usually joins elements beginning with c, q, or t).

The form ab- is regularly used before all vowels and h; and it becomes a- before the consonants m, p, and v. The prefix apo- has similar meanings.

This list is a very small sample of the multitudes of a-, ab-, abs- prefixes that are available in dictionaries and those in this unit are only meant to present a few examples.



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abampere (ab AM pir") (s) (noun), abamperes (pl)
A basic unit of electric current in the meter-kilogram-second system: One abampere is equal to ten amperes in the SI system of units, or the Système International [d'Unités], or the International System [of Units].

One abampere equals 10 amperes in the absolute meter-kilogram-second-ampere system.

abampere centimeter squared, aAcm2
The unit of magnetic moment in the electromagnetic centimeter-gram-second system.
abampere per square centimeter, aA/cm2
The unit of current density in the electromagnetic centimeter-gram-second system.
abarticular (ab" ar TIK yoo luhr) (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Not affecting a joint: The skull bones are immovable and so they are considered to be abarticular joints because they do not require tendons, ligaments, or synovial fluids for movements.
2. Remote or away from where two bones come together: There are abarticular sections of the body that are not connected with nor situated near the joints of the body.
abarticulation (ab ar tik” yoo LAY shuhn) (s) (noun), abarticulations (pl); dearticulation (s), dearticulations (pl)
In anatomy, the dislocation of a joint in the body: Abarticulation is a medical term which is sometimes used as a reference to diarthrosis (ability of some joints of the body to move in several directions), and also for synarthrosis (rigid joint formed by the union of two bones and connected by fibrous tissue).

Krista suffered an abarticulation of her knee when she fell while skateboarding.

abbreviate (uh BREE vi ayt) (verb), abbreviates; abbreviated; abbreviating
1. To shorten a word by leaving out some of its letters or sounds: Jonathan decided he would be abbreviating his name to "Jon".
2. To shorten a piece of text by cutting out sections or paraphrasing it; that is, abridged, shortened, or cut short: The speaker abbreviated his lecture so the audience could go home before the thunderstorm started.
3. Etymology: the -brev- in abbreviate, abbreviates, etc. came from Latin brevis, meaning "short", which is also the source of the word brief; therefore, abbreviate means "to make briefer, to make shorter" by combining or omitting elements of the contents of a verbal or a written message.
abbreviated (uh BREE vi ay” tid) (adjective) (not comparable)
1. That which has been cut short in duration or length: Peter made the most abbreviated speech that anyone could recall after he lost the election.
2. The reduction of a word or a name to a shorter form: The abbreviated form for the "United States of America" is "U.S.A."; the more abbreviated form is the "U.S."; for "Doctor", it's "Dr.", and an abbreviated example of "business" is the informal term of "biz".
abbreviation (uh bree” vi AY shuhn) (s) (noun), abbreviations (pl)
1. The result of reducing something; such as, a form or a short summary: The Executive Summary of the report was a good abbreviation of the full financial report.
2. A shortened form of a spoken word, or written symbol; a part of a word or symbol standing for the whole: There are many abbreviations for title words; one common abbreviation is Mr. for Mister.

A very familiar abbreviation is etc.; the abbreviation for et cetera; meaning, "and the rest", "and others", "and so forth" which is used at the end of a list to indicate that "other items of the same class or type should be considered or included".

abbreviator (uh BREE vi ay” tuhr) (s) (noun), abbreviators (pl)
Someone who shortens something that has been written by another person: As an editor, Kirk was a strict abbreviator and he supervised a team of abbreviators who worked on short stories for the magazine.
abcoulomb (abC, aC) (ab KOO lahm", ab KOO lohm") (s) (noun), abcoulombs (pl)
The unit of electric charge in the electromagnetic centimeter-gram-second system, where one abcoulomb is equal to 10 coulombs.

In the electromagnetic cgs system, electrical current is a fundamental quantity defined via Ampère's law and takes the permeability as a dimensionless quantity (relative permeability) whose value in a vacuum is unity; as a consequence, the square of the speed of light appears explicitly in some of the equations interrelating quantities in this system.

abcoulomb centimeter (s) (noun), abcoulomb centimeters (pl)
In the electromagnetic centimeter-gram-second (cgs) system of units, the unit of electric dipole moment.
abcoulomb per cubic centimeter, aC/cm3
The electromagnetic centimeter-gram-second unit of volume density of charge.
abcoulomb per square centimeter, aC/cm2
The electromagnetic centimeter-gram-second unit of surface density of charge, electric polarization, and displacement.
abdicable (AB di kuh buhl) (adjective), more abdicable, most abdicable
A reference to that which can be discarded, renounced, relinquished, or not wanted: Gina's abdicable responsibilities had been an excessive burden for her; so, she had no regrets when she left her position as manager of the two stores.
abdicant (s) (noun), abdicants (pl)
Anyone who abandons or renounces a position or responsibility: The king became an abdicant when he gave up his throne so his son could take his place.