<prefix>

1. A prefix signifying above, over, beyond, and hence often denoting in a superior position, in excess, over and above, in addition, exceedingly; as in superimpose, supersede, supernatural, superabundance.

2. <chemistry> A prefix formerly much used to denote that the ingredient to the name of which it was prefixed was present in a large, or unusually large, proportion as compared with the other ingredients; as in calcium superphosphate.

It has been superseded by per-, bi-, di-, acid, etc. (as peroxide, bicarbonate, disulphide, and acid sulphate), which retain the old meanings of super-, but with sharper definition.

Compare: hyper-, sub-, supra-, sur-.

Origin: L. super over, above; akin to Gr. , L. sub under, and E. over.

(05 Feb 2009)

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