Vocab Builder: In- Latin

One handy Latin prefix to have around is in-. It can mean “not,” as in inept and inconsolable, as well as “in, into,” as this week’s list shows us. Although you’ll most often see it in its in- guise, you might also find it as il- before l, as in illuminate; im- before b, m, or p, as in imprecise; or ir- before r-, as in irrigate.

  • inundate, verb: to overwhelm someone.

Low-lying areas on the outskirts of the city have been inundated with rainwater after 40 hours of moderate to heavy showers. —Times of India

  • incarcerate, verb: to imprison someone.

In March, the region opened a maximum-security prison built with United Nations funding to incarcerate pirates convicted of attacks off the coast of Somalia. —Bloomberg

  • infatuate, verb: to have a strong but brief passion for someone or something.

Like so many of his Valley colleagues, Spinner was instantly infatuated with Obama and certain that supporting him was the right play. —Atlantic Monthly

  • inherent, adjective: existing as a natural or essential part of something.

The game formerly featured only seniors, divided into two teams with no inherent reason to prove something to the other. —Denver Post

  • irradiate, verb: to shine a light on something or someone, literally or figuratively.

She smiled, her smile irradiating her face. —Analog Science Fiction & Fact

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About Erin Brenner

With a BA and an MA in English, Erin has been an editing professional for 15 years, working on a variety of media, especially online. Her niche is business/marketing and online. In addition, she has experience teaching editing to non-editors and coaching writers. In 2008, Erin was bitten by the social media bug...hard. Follow her on Twitter, @ebrenner, and get a daily vocabulary word, a link to the article of the day, and much more. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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