A Multitude of "Multi-" Words


Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The English prefix multi- means “many.” Examples using this prefix include multivitamin and multiplication. An easy way to remember that the prefix multi- means “many” is to think about being super rich, for if you were a multimillionaire, you would have “many” millions of dollars!

A Multitude of "Multi-" Words

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix multi- means “many;” today we will multiply your vocabulary “many” times over by introducing you to the English prefix multi-!

You’ve probably heard the English prefix multi- “many” times in school. For instance, in math class you learned about the operation multiplication, or the creation of “many” things from two numbers greater than one. In science class you may have had multiple choice questions, in which “many” possible answers are offered for a single question. In social studies you probably learned about multiculturalism, or the acceptance and awareness of “many” cultures within a given society. In art class you were probably encouraged to make multicolored artwork, or works comprised of “many” colors. In foreign language classes you became aware of people who are multilingual, or who can speak “many” languages. In computer class you were probably introduced to the concept of multimedia, or the use of “many” different types of media, such as text, audio, video, animation, still photos, etc. Hopefully you didn’t have to put up with too “many” other students, or a multitude of them, while you were trying to learn all these things!

Hopefully after all that school you’ll have made a large amount of money, perhaps even becoming a multimillionaire, or someone who possesses “many” millions of dollars! You might even become the CEO of a multinational corporation, or one that does business in “many” nations. You will probably multitask, or perform “many” tasks at the same time on your way to the top, during which time you may need to take a multivitamin, or pill with “many” vitamins in it, to remain healthy!

I hope that the “many” examples you’ve seen using the prefix multi- will, indeed, multiply your vocabulary “many” times over!

  1. multiple: “many”
  2. multiplication: the mathematical operation that makes “many” numbers from two or more smaller ones
  3. multiculturalism: the study of “many” cultures and the appreciation thereof
  4. multicolored: having “many” colors
  5. multilingual: pertaining to “many” languages
  6. multimedia: “many” different types of media
  7. multitude: “many” of something
  8. multimillionaire: one who possesses “many” millions of dollars
  9. multinational: of “many” nations
  10. multitask to perform “many” tasks at the same time
  11. multivitamin: a single capsule that contains “many” vitamins
  12. multiply: to make “many” things

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