Affix – Definition & Meaning

The English language is full of complex grammar rules and structures. One of the most important aspects of grammar is the use of affixes. But what exactly is an affix? In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of affix, its origin, as well as its associations, synonyms, and antonyms.


An affix is a morpheme that is added to a word to modify its meaning. Affixes can be prefixes, which are added to the beginning of a word, or suffixes, which are added to the end of a word. For example, the prefix “un-” can be added to the word “happy” to create the word “unhappy,” which means the opposite of happy.


The word “affix” comes from the Latin word “affixus,” which means “fastened to.” This reflects the idea that an affix is added to a word to change its meaning, much like something can be fastened to a surface to change its appearance or function.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an affix is “a morpheme, typically a prefix or suffix, that is added to a word to modify its meaning or create a new word.” Merriam-Webster defines an affix as “a linguistic element (such as a prefix or suffix) added to a word to modify its meaning or create a new word.”


Affixes are an important part of the English language and are used in many different contexts. They can be used to change the tense of a verb, create new words, or add emphasis to a word. Affixes are also used in other languages, such as Spanish and French.


Some synonyms for affix include attach, fasten, add, and append.


Antonyms for affix include detach, remove, and separate.

The same root words

Many words in the English language have the same root word, which means they share a common origin. For example, the words “inflexible,” “flexible,” and “reflex” all have the root word “flex,” which means “to bend.” By adding different affixes to this root word, we can create words with different meanings.

Example Sentences

  1. The prefix “un-” can be affixed to many different words to create the opposite meaning.
  2. The suffix “-ly” can be affixed to many adjectives to create adverbs.
  3. In Spanish, the prefix “des-” can be affixed to verbs to indicate the opposite meaning.
  4. The word “unhappiness” is created by affixing the prefix “un-” and the suffix “-ness” to the word “happy.”
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