Privative

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The adjective privative is used in the study of grammar, etymology and words generally to mean 'indicating an absence or a negative'. In English, privatives (the word here being used substantively) are usually affixes, whether as suffixes such as -less or prefixes such as un- and a(n)- (the alpha privative, which forms many negatives in words derived from Greek such as atheist ('without + Θεος 'God'); amazon (the legendary women warriors who were said to have removed one breast in order to handle a bow more easily) (α 'without' + μζος 'breast' - this ancient etymology is now discounted); atom (α 'not' + τομος 'cut' - or 'indivisible [unit of matter]'; and many more


Etymological note: privative has the same root as Deprivation - Private - privation - privilege - privity - privy