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.

abundancy (s) (noun), abundancies (pl)
That which is plentiful, abounding, ample, and copious: The city has an abundancy of good restaurants.
abundant (adjective), more abundant, most abundant
1. Present in great quantities; more than adequate; overly sufficient: Rainfall is more abundant this summer in some areas of the country; however, it is much less abundant in other areas.
2. Well-supplied; providing a more than plentiful supply of something: The prosecutor offered abundant evidence that the woman had committed the crime.

This has been one of the most abundant displays of beautiful fall colors that the city parks have ever produced in years.

abundantly (adverb), more abundantly, most abundantly
Descriptive of a fully sufficient, plentiful, and copious supply of something: It is abundantly obvious that the current economic situation will not be solved easily.
abuse (uh BYOOZ) (s) (noun), abuses (pl)
1. A harmful treatment of a person, people, an animal, or animals: Recently there have been accusations of human rights abuses by some government officials of several countries.
2. The practice or act of using or doing something illegally: The governor's abuse of his power involved the buying of votes which resulted in his being prosecuted for malicious use of public funds.
3. Harsh and insulting words: The prisoner, who was on trial for murder, shouted abuses at the presiding judge accusing her of prejudice because he was a man.
4. Etymology: "to misuse, misapply", from Latin abusus, "a using up"; "misuse up"; from ab-. "away" + uti, "use".
abuse (verb), abuses; abused; abusing
1. To use wrongly or improperly: The fact that Troy abused his wife both mentally and physically was brought to the judge's attention during the court procedure.
2. To use or to treat something in a way that causes damage: Ricky abused his car by not taking proper care of it and driving excessively fast.
3. To attack someone with words: The baseball fans were verbally abusing the umpire for calling the player "out"!
4. To engage in corrupt practices or activities or to use in an unfair way: Too many politicians tend to abuse their governmental positions with actions that will increase their monetary lifestyles.
abusive (adjective), more abusive, most abusive
1. Using harsh and insulting language: Wayne's wife spoke to him in a more abusive manner than usual when he came home late without letting her know in advance.
2. Using or involving physical violence or emotional cruelty: Fortunately, there are not as many people who are in abusive relationships as there are those who have good relationships.

Mary's husband was accused of using the most abusive punishment of his children whenever they did not do what he told them to do.

abusively (adverb), more abusively, most abusively
Treating someone with harsh and insulting language: There are too many people who are abusively treated with slanderous language.

Sarah's neighbor treated her abusively with his attitude and foul language.

avert (uh VURT) (verb), averts; averted; averting
1. To turn away: Mr. Pyott had to avert his eyes from the sight of the terrible auto accident that he saw on the highway.

Cathy averted her head so her mother couldn't see her face where she had bruised it when she fell on the slippery ice.

2. To ward off, to prevent, or to abstain from happening: Shirley averted an accident by driving her car carefully on a narrow street that was undergoing reconstruction; however, a man who was driving in the same lane, didn't avert the barrier on the side and so he had a bad accident.
3. To keep from happening or to avoid something: The quick arrival of the fire fighters averted a major forest fire.

A man who averts danger turns it away from himself; to avert one's eyes is to turn them away.

avoid (verb), avoids; avoided; avoiding
1. To reject, to shun, to stay away: Because of her sensitive skin, Geraldine tries to avoid sitting in the sun.
2. To keep away from, to stay out of the way of someone or something: Lauren's former husband now avoids her whenever they happen to be in the same place.

Margery, a high school student, manages to avoid doing the dishes by claiming she has to do her homework.

3. To prevent the occurrence of; to stop from happening: If at all possible, people should avoid repeating the same mistakes when investing their money in those companies that are unable to maintain reasonable profits.
4. To refrain or to stop doing something: Nations should try to avoid starting so many wars with each other.
5. To resist, to turn down, or to deliberately stay away from certain foods or beverages: According to the doctor, during Carol's fast, she should avoid eating solid food; however, liquids would be all right.
telescopic shock absorber (s) (noun), telescopic shock absorbers (pl)
A tubular spring damper operated by rod and piston which is considered to be the most common type of shock absorber: The mechanic installed new telescopic shock absorbers on his pickup truck.
visible absorption spectrophotometry (s) (noun), visible absorption spectrophotometries (pl)
The photometric measurement of the wavelengths of observable radiation taken in by a sample and which correspond to electron transitions from the ground state to an excited state: Professor Jess Monroe developed a new visible absorption spectrophotometry device that enhanced the scientific studies in his university classes.

In the teacher's advanced physics program, his students studied the visible absorptions spectrophotometries of light energy.