Definition of re- in English:

re-

prefix

  • 1Once more; afresh; anew.

    ‘reaccustom’
    ‘reactivate’
    1. 1.1 With return to a previous state.
      ‘revert’
  • 2In return; mutually.

    ‘react’
    ‘resemble’
    1. 2.1 In opposition.
      ‘repel’
      ‘resistance’
  • 3Behind or after.

    ‘relic’
    ‘remain’
    1. 3.1 In a withdrawn state.
      ‘recluse’
      ‘reticent’
    2. 3.2 Back and away; down.
      ‘recede’
      ‘relegation’
  • 4With frequentative or intensive force.

    ‘refine’
    ‘resound’
  • 5With negative force.

    ‘recant’

Usage

In modern English the tendency is for words formed with prefixes such as re- to be unhyphenated: restore, remain, reacquaint. One general exception to this is when the word to which re- attaches begins with e: in this case a hyphen is often inserted for clarity: re-examine, re-enter, re-enact. A hyphen is sometimes also used where the word formed with the prefix would be identical to an already existing word: re-cover (meaning ‘cover again’, as in we decided to re-cover the dining-room chairs) not recover (meaning ‘get better in health’). Similar guidelines apply to other prefixes, such as pre-

Origin

From Latin re-, red- ‘again, back’.

Pronunciation

re-

/rɛ//ri//riː/