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Definition of An-

An-: Prefix very much employed in medicine and all of the health sciences, indicating "not, without, or -less."

For example, the prefix "an" figures into these words: anemia (without blood), anophthalmia (no eye), anotia (no ear), anoxia (no oxygen).

The "an-" usually becomes "a-" before a consonant as, for example, in alexia (not read), aphagia (not eat), aphonia (not voice, voiceless).

The prefix "an-" comes from the Greek meaning "not."

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=16306
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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