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.
You can greatly expand your word knowledge in this
and in all of the other word units.
2. Being fully involved in doing something that a person wants to achieve: Shirley's absorbabilities while studying at the university resulted in a doctor's degree that was achieved in less time than is normally required.
2. A measure of the extent to which a substance transmits light or other electromagnetic radiations: Absorbance varies with factors: such as, wavelength, solution concentration, and path length.
2. An agent that causes the soaking up or the taking in of liquids by solids: Adding the right kind of absorbefacient to the spill on the garage floor made it easier to clean up the mess.
2. Substances or products that can soak up liquids or gases: Are there differences in the absorbencies of salt water versus unsalted water for gases?
2. A product or substance which can collect liquids or gases: The new powder-like substance is a great absorbent when cleaning up the oils and grease at the auto mechanic's work shop.
2. Any substance that takes in fluids through its sensible or insensible porosity; applied in a special sense in medicine to such substances as chalk or magnesia that take in the acidity of the stomach: Certain forms of magnesium can work as an absorbent when administered as a laxative.
2. The material that readily gathers photons to generate charge carriers (free electrons or holes): The instructor tried to explain the different materials that could be used as absorbers.
2. The taking up of light or of its rays by black or colored rays: The absorption of the light by the black cloth seemed to be adequate.
3. The taking up by the body of radiant heat, causing a rise in body temperature: Stanley's higher temperature was caused by the absorption of the heat from the sun when he was at the beach.
4. The reduction in intensity of an X-ray photon as it passes through a substance or a beam of light as it passes through a solution which is used in clinical photometry as well as nuclear methods: At the laboratory the technicians were able to monitor the absorption of the electromagnetic energy as it passed through the blue solution.
5. The passage of a substance through some surface of the body into body fluids and tissues; such as, the passage of ether through the respiratory epithelium of the lungs into the blood during anesthesia or the passage of oil of wintergreen through the skin (which is the result of several processes: diffusion, filtration, and osmosis): Rodney, the anesthesiologist, frequently checked the level of absorption of the ether during the surgery.
6. The process by which a liquid or gas is drawn into the permeable pores of a solid material: The clean gauze bandage slowed the absorption of the blood from the wound.
7. In physiology, the passage of substances across and into tissues; such as, the passage of digested food molecules into intestinal cells or the passage of liquid into kidney tubules: The various types of medical absorptions include: agglutinin absorption, cutaneous absorption, external absorption, intestinal absorption, parenteral absorption, and pathological absorption.
2. The process of choosing not to vote for or against something: Seven members voted for the proposal, three voted against it, and four abstained.
3. To hold oneself back or to voluntarily do without something by refraining from doing it: It is a struggle to abstain from eating a large slice of chocolate birthday cake.
4. Etymology: from Latin abs-, "from" + tenere, "to hold".
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
for a list of additional Mickey Bach illustrations.
2. Those who practice self-denial as a spiritual discipline: The spiritual hermit on the mountain was renowned as an abstainer from eating meat.