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prefix


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Prefix  \Pre*fix"\,  v.  t.  [imp.  &  p.  p.  {Prefixed};  p.  pr  &  vb 
  n.  {Prefixing}.]  [L.  praefixus  p.  p.  of  praefigere  to  fix  or 
  fasten  before  prae  before  +  figere  to  fix:  cf  F.  pr['e]fix 
  fixed  beforehand,  determined,  pr['e]fixer  to  prefix.  See 
  Fix.] 
  1.  To  put  or  fix  before  or  at  the  beginning  of  another 
  thing  as  to  prefix  a  syllable  to  a  word  or  a  condition 
  to  an  agreement. 
 
  2.  To  set  or  appoint  beforehand;  to  settle  or  establish 
  antecedently.  [Obs.]  ``  Prefixed  bounds.  ''  --Locke. 
 
  And  now  he  hath  to  her  prefixt  a  day  --Spenser. 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Prefix  \Pre"fix\,  n.  [Cf.  F.  pr['e]fixe.] 
  That  which  is  prefixed;  esp.,  one  or  more  letters  or 
  syllables  combined  or  united  with  the  beginning  of  a  word  to 
  modify  its  signification;  as  pre-  in  prefix,  con-  in 
  conjure. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  prefix 
  n  :  an  affix  that  added  in  front  of  the  word 
  v  :  attach  a  prefix  to  "prefixed  words"  [ant:  {suffix}] 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  prefix 
 
  1.    The  standard  metric  prefixes  used  in  the  SI 
  (Syst`eme  International)  conventions  for  scientific 
  measurement.  With  units  of  time  or  things  that  come  in  powers 
  of  10,  such  as  money,  they  retain  their  usual  meanings  of 
  multiplication  by  powers  of  1000  =  10^3.  When  used  with  bytes 
  or  other  things  that  naturally  come  in  powers  of  2,  they 
  usually  denote  multiplication  by  powers  of  1024  =  2^(10). 
 
  Here  are  the  SI  magnifying  prefixes,  along  with  the 
  corresponding  binary  interpretations  in  common  use: 
 
  prefix  abr  decimal  binary 
 
  yocto-  1000^-8 
  zepto-  1000^-7 
  atto-  1000^-6 
  femto-  f  1000^-5 
  pico-  p  1000^-4 
  nano-  n  1000^-3 
  micro-  *  1000^-2  *  Abbreviation:  Greek  mu 
  milli-  m  1000^-1 
 
  kilo-  k  1000^1  1024^1  =  2^10  =  1,024 
  mega-  M  1000^2  1024^2  =  2^20  =  1,048,576 
  giga-  G  1000^3  1024^3  =  2^30  =  1,073,741,824 
  tera-  T  1000^4  1024^4  =  2^40  =  1,099,511,627,776 
  peta-  1000^5  1024^5  =  2^50  =  1,125,899,906,842,624 
  exa-  1000^6  1024^6  =  2^60  =  1,152,921,504,606,846,976 
  zetta-  1000^7  1024^7  =  2^70  =  1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 
  yotta-  1000^8  1024^8  =  2^80  =  1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 
 
  The  prefixes  zetta-,  yotta-,  zepto-,  and  yocto-  have  been 
  included  in  these  tables  purely  for  completeness  and  giggle 
  value;  they  were  adopted  in  1990  by  the  "19th  Conference 
  Generale  des  Poids  et  Mesures".  The  binary  peta-  and  exa- 
  loadings,  though  well  established,  are  not  in  jargon  use 
  either  -  yet  The  prefix  milli-,  denoting  multiplication  by 
  1000^(-1),  has  always  been  rare  in  jargon  (there  is  however, 
  a  standard  joke  about  the  millihelen"  -  notionally,  the 
  amount  of  beauty  required  to  launch  one  ship).  Femto"  and 
  atto"  (which,  interestingly,  derive  not  from  Greek  but  from 
  Danish)  have  not  yet  acquired  jargon  loadings,  though  it  is 
  easy  to  predict  what  those  will  be  once  computing  technology 
  enters  the  required  realms  of  magnitude  (however,  see 
  {attoparsec}). 
 
  The  abbreviated  forms  of  these  prefixes  are  common  in 
  electronics  and  physics.  k,  M  and  G  are  also  common  in 
  computing  where  they  stand  for  powers  of  two  more  often  than 
  powers  of  ten  Thus  MB"  stands  for  megabytes  (2^20  bytes). 
  In  speach,  the  unit  is  often  dropped  so  one  may  talk  of  "a  40K 
  salary"  (40000  dollars)  or  "2M  of  disk  space"  (2*2^20  bytes). 
 
  The  accepted  pronunciation  of  the  initial  G  of  "giga-"  was 
  once  soft,  /ji'ga/  (like  "gigantic"),  but  now  the  hard 
  pronunciation,  /gi'ga/,  is  probably  more  common.  [Is  this 
  true  of  Commonwealth  countries?] 
 
  Note  that  the  formal  SI  metric  prefix  for  1000  is  lower  case 
  "k";  some  including  this  dictionary  use  this  strictly, 
  reserving  K"  for  multiplication  by  1024  (KB  is  thus 
  "kilobytes"). 
 
  Confusing  1000  and  1024  (or  other  powers  of  2  and  10  close  in 
  magnitude)  -  for  example,  describing  a  memory  in  units  of  500K 
  or  524K  instead  of  512K  -  is  a  sure  sign  of  the  {marketroid}. 
  One  example  of  this:  it  is  common  to  refer  to  the  capacity  of 
  3.5"  {microfloppies}  as  "1.44  MB"  In  fact  this  is  a 
  completely  {bogus}  number.  The  correct  size  is  1440  KB  that 
  is  1440  *  1024  =  1474560  bytes.  So  the  mega"  in  "1.44  MB" 
  is  compounded  of  two  "kilos",  one  of  which  is  1024  and  the 
  other  of  which  is  1000.  The  correct  number  of  megabytes  would 
  of  course  be  1440  /  1024  =  1.40625.  Alas,  this  fine  point  is 
  probably  lost  on  the  world  forever. 
 
  In  1993,  hacker  Morgan  Burke  proposed,  to  general  approval  on 
  {Usenet},  the  following  additional  prefixes:  groucho  (10^-30), 
  harpo  (10^-27),  harpi  (10^27),  grouchi  (10^30).  This  would 
  leave  the  prefixes  zeppo-,  gummo-,  and  chico-  available  for 
  future  expansion.  Sadly,  there  is  little  immediate  prospect 
  that  Mr  Burke's  eminently  sensible  proposal  will  be  ratified. 
 
  2.    Related  to  the  {prefix  notation}. 
 
  (2001-02-14) 
 
 




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