Number Prefixes

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Number prefixes are prefixes that are derived from numbers or numerals. They are used to create some words you will encounter. Recognizing these prefixes and the numbers they represent will help you to learn and better understand the meanings of such words

Here are prefixes that represent the numbers 1 though 10. Next to each prefix are examples of words that are formed using the number prefix, along with the meanings of the words.

1 mono monologue A long speech or performance given by one person.
monorail A railroad track that has only one rail.
1 uni unicorn An imaginary animal that has one horn.
unicycle A pedaled vehicle that has one wheel.
2 bi bicycle A pedaled vehicle that has two wheels.
biennial An event that occurs every two years.
2 du duet A piece of music written for two singers or musical instruments.
duplex A house divided into two units with separate entrances.
3 tri triangle A plane figure that has three angles and three sides.
tricycle A pedaled vehicle that has three wheels.
4 quad quadrangle A plane figure that has four angles and four sides.
quadruple A number or amount four times as great as another.
5 penta pentagon A plane figure that has five angles and five sides.
pentathlon An athletic contest that consists of five events.
5 quint quintet A group of five persons or things.
quintuplets Five children born at the same time to the same mother.
6 hexa hexagon A plane figure that has six angles and six sides.
hexagram A six-pointed star.
7 sept septenary A period of seven years.
septennial An event that occurs every seven years.
8 oct octet The first eight lines in a sonnet.
octopus A saltwater animal with eight arms.
9 nov November The ninth month of the year in the ancient Roman calendar.
novena Nine days of prayers or services.
10 deca decade A period of ten years.
decathlon An athletic contest that consists of ten events.

You can expand your vocabulary by recognizing these number prefixes when they appear at the beginnings of words.

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