1. Causing deprivation, lack, or loss.
2. Grammar Altering the meaning of a term from positive to negative.
A privative prefix or suffix, such as a-, non-, un-, or -less.
[Middle English privatif, from Latin prīvātīvus, from prīvātus, past participle of prīvāre, to deprive; see PRIVATE.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.