Dis- Keeping Things Distant


Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. A large number of English vocabulary words contain the prefix dis-, which means “apart.” Examples using this prefix include distant, disease, and disqualify. An easy way to remember that the prefix dis- means “apart” is through the word disorder, for items which are disordered are “apart” from being “ordered,” hence are not ordered or are in quite the mess.

Dis- Keeping Things Distant

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix dis- means “apart;” today we will discover many words that have the prefix dis- in them!

The Roman god Pluto was also named Dis, and luckily this god of the underworld was distant from the land above, or stood “apart” from it. What if Dis were to travel to the upper world with his three-headed dog Cerberus? Imagine how dissimilar, or “apart” from being like others that ghastly duo would be! He and Cerberus would certainly distract people, or draw them “apart” from their usual activities as they walked about town. Speaking of Cerberus, imagine if Dis were to take him to a doggie park—talk about disrupting or breaking “apart” a normal day of playing for all of those one-headed dogs! The disorder, or a state “apart” from being orderly that would ensue would be a hoot to behold. The disquiet that would be present, or a state “apart” from being quiet, would subside once Dis left for his deep home, thus pulling a disappearing act, having gone “apart” from being there, hopefully for a very long time.

Now let’s imagine that Dr. Frankenstein decides to create another monster, this time of himself. For the doctor has caught a fatal disease, which holds his physical comfort “apart” from being at ease. This condition is holding him at quite a disadvantage, keeping him “apart” from being his best. To add insult to injury, while disinterring dead bodies, or taking those bodies “apart” from being buried in the ground, he dislocated his shoulder, taking it “apart” from its usual location. Unfortunately, the hard-up doctor has distrust in anyone else to do the digging for him, or holds them “apart” from his trust. Hence, he may soon become disinterested, or take himself “apart” from interest in the whole concept of making another self and disband his medical team, which would then go “apart” to different areas of the country.

Now you will no longer feel discomfort when encountering words with the prefix dis- in them!

  1. distant: stand “apart”
  2. dissimilar: “apart” from being similar
  3. distract: draw “apart”
  4. disrupt: burst “apart”
  5. disorder: “apart” from orderliness
  6. disquiet: “apart” from quiet
  7. disappear: “apart” from being present
  8. disease: “apart” from ease
  9. disadvantage: “apart” from having an advantage
  10. disinter: to take “apart” from being in the ground
  11. dislocate: to take “apart” from the usual location
  12. distrust: “apart” from being trustworthy
  13. disinterested: “apart” from being interested
  14. disband: when a band of people go “apart” from each other
  15. discomfort: being “apart” from feeling comfortable

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