in- (2) Look up in- at
element meaning "into, in, on, upon" (also im-, il-, ir- by assimilation of -n- with following consonant), from Latin in- "in" (see in). In Old French this often became en-, which usually was respelled in English to conform with Latin, but not always, which accounts for pairs like enquire/inquire. There was a native form, which in West Saxon usually appeared as on- (as in Old English onliehtan "to enlighten"), and some verbs survived into Middle English (such as inwrite "to inscribe"), but all now seem to be extinct. Not related to in- (1) "not," which also was a common prefix in Latin: to the Romans impressus could mean "pressed" or "unpressed."
in-fighting (n.) Look up in-fighting at
1812, from pugilism, the practice of getting at close quarters with an opponent; see in + fighting. Old English infiht (n.) meant "brawl within a house or between members of a household."
in-joke (n.) Look up in-joke at
1964, from in + joke.
in-law (n.) Look up in-law at
1894, "anyone of a relationship not natural," abstracted from father-in-law, etc.
The position of the 'in-laws' (a happy phrase which is attributed ... to her Majesty, than whom no one can be better acquainted with the article) is often not very apt to promote happiness. ["Blackwood's Magazine," 1894]
The earliest recorded use of the phrase is in brother-in-law (13c.); the law is Canon Law, which defines degrees of relationship within which marriage is prohibited.
in-migration (n.) Look up in-migration at
1942, in reference to movement within the same country, from in + migration.
in-store (adj.) Look up in-store at
also instore, 1961, from in + store (n.). In Middle English, instore was a verb meaning "to restore, renew," from Latin instaurare.
in-transit (adj.) Look up in-transit at
1918, from in + transit (n.).
inability (n.) Look up inability at
mid-15c., inhabilite, "disqualification for office," from in- (1) + ability. Earlier was unability "incapability; incompetence" (late 14c.). General sense by c. 1500.
inable (v.) Look up inable at
see enable.
inaccessible (adj.) Look up inaccessible at
early 15c., from Middle French inaccessible (14c.), from Late Latin inaccessibilis "unapproachable," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + accessibilis (see accessible). Related: Inaccessibly; inaccessibility. Earlier in same sense was unaccessible (c. 1400).
inaccuracy (n.) Look up inaccuracy at
1701, "quality or condition of being inaccurate," from inaccurate + -cy. As an example of this, by 1883.
inaccurate (adj.) Look up inaccurate at
1738, from in- (1) "not" + accurate. Related: Inaccurately (1660s).
inaction (n.) Look up inaction at
1707, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + action.
inactive (adj.) Look up inactive at
1725, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + active.
inactivity (n.) Look up inactivity at
1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + activity. Phrase masterly inactivity attested by 1791.
inadequacy (n.) Look up inadequacy at
1764, from inadequate + -cy. Related: Inadequacies.
inadequate (adj.) Look up inadequate at
1670s; see in- (1) "not, opposite of" + adequate. Related: Inadequately.
inadmissible (adj.) Look up inadmissible at
1776, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + admissible. Related: Inadmissibility.
inadvertence (n.) Look up inadvertence at
mid-15c., from Middle French inadvertance (14c.), from Scholastic Latin inadvertentia, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + advertentia, from Latin advertere "to direct one's attention to," literally "to turn toward" (see advertise).
inadvertent (adj.) Look up inadvertent at
1650s, back-formation from inadvertence.
inadvertently (adv.) Look up inadvertently at
1670s, literally "inattentively," hence "unintentionally;" see inadvertent + -ly (2).
inadvisability (n.) Look up inadvisability at
1839, from inadvisable + -ity.
inadvisable (adj.) Look up inadvisable at
1819, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + advisable.
inalienable (adj.) Look up inalienable at
1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + alienable (see alienate). Related: Inalienably; Inalienability.
inamorata (n.) Look up inamorata at
"female lover," 1650s, from Italian innamorata, fem. of innamorato, past participle of innamorare "to fall in love," from in "in" (from Latin, see in) + amore "love" (see Amy).
inamorato (n.) Look up inamorato at
1892, masc. of inamorata (q.v.).
inane (adj.) Look up inane at
"silly, empty-headed," 1819, earlier "empty" (1660s), a back-formation from inanity. Related: Inanely.
inanimate (adj.) Look up inanimate at
early 15c., from Late Latin inanimatus "lifeless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + animatus (see animation). The same word in 17c. also was a verb meaning "to infuse with life," from the other in- (see in- (2)).
inanition (n.) Look up inanition at
c. 1400, from Old French inanition, from Latin inanitionem (nominative inanitio) "emptiness," noun of action from past participle stem of inanire "to empty," from inanis "empty, void, worthless, useless," of uncertain origin.
inanity (n.) Look up inanity at
c. 1600, "emptiness, hollowness," literal and figurative, from French inanité or directly from Latin inanitas "emptiness, empty space," figuratively "worthlessness," noun of quality from inanis "empty, void, worthless, useless," of uncertain origin.
inapplicable (adj.) Look up inapplicable at
1650s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + applicable. Related: Inapplicably; inapplicability.
inapposite (adj.) Look up inapposite at
1620s (implied in inappositely), from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + apposite.
inappropriate (adj.) Look up inappropriate at
1804, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + appropriate (adj.). Related: Inappropriately; inappropriateness.
inapt (adj.) Look up inapt at
1744, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + apt. Related: Inaptly; inaptness.
inaptitude (n.) Look up inaptitude at
1610s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + aptitude.
inarticulate (adj.) Look up inarticulate at
c. 1600, "not clear or intelligible" (of speech), from Late Latin inarticulatus "inarticulate, indistinct," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + articulatus, past participle of articulare (see articulation). Related: Inarticulately; inarticulateness.
inartistic (adj.) Look up inartistic at
1836, from in- (1) "not" + artistic. Inartistical is attested from 1849.
inasmuch Look up inasmuch at
contraction of in as much, first attested c. 1300 as in als mikel, a Northern form. First contracted to in asmuch, then, beginning 14c. and especially since 17c., to one word.
inattention (n.) Look up inattention at
1710, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + attention.
inattentive (adj.) Look up inattentive at
1741, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + attentive. Related: Inattentively; inattentiveness.
inaudible (adj.) Look up inaudible at
mid-15c., "unfit to be heard;" c. 1600, "unable to be heard," from Latin inaudibilis "inaudible," from in- “not” (see in- (1)) + audibilis (see audible). Related: Inaudibly; inaudibility.
inaugural (adj.) Look up inaugural at
1680s, from French inaugural (17c.), from inaugurer "to inaugurate" (see inauguration). The noun meaning "an inaugural address" is recorded from 1832, American English.
inaugurate (v.) Look up inaugurate at
c. 1600, a back-formation from inauguration and also from Latin inauguratus, past participle of inaugurare (see inauguration). Related: Inaugurated; inaugurating.
inauguration (n.) Look up inauguration at
1560s, from French inauguration "installation, consecration," and directly from Latin inaugurationem (nominative inauguratio) "consecration, installment under good omens," noun of action from past participle stem of inaugurare "take omens from the flight of birds; consecrate or install when such omens are favorable," from in- "on, in" (see in- (2)) + augurare "to act as an augur, predict" (see augur).
inauspicious (adj.) Look up inauspicious at
1590s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + auspicious. Related: Inauspiciously; inauspiciousness.
inauthentic (adj.) Look up inauthentic at
1783, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + authentic.
inbetween (n.) Look up inbetween at
1815, in-between, "an interval," also "a person who intervenes," from in + between.
inborn (adj.) Look up inborn at
Old English inboren "native to a place," from in "within" + boren "brought forth" (see born). Of qualities in a person, 1510s.
inbound (adj.) Look up inbound at
1857, "homeward," from in + bound (adj.2). Originally of ships.
inbox (n.) Look up inbox at
by 1984 in electronic mail sense, from in + mailbox (n.). Compare in-basket, in reference to office mail systems, by 1940.