away, from

Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The English prefix ab-, which means “away,” appears in many English vocabulary words, such as absent, abduct, and absolute." You can remember that the prefix ab- means “away” via the word absent, for someone who is absent is “away” from a place, such as school or work.

Ab-, Ab-, and Away!

Today we will focus on the prefix ab-, which means “away.” By the end of this podcast you will be absolutely sure that ab- means “away!”

Have you ever met someone who was abnormal, or “away” from being normal? A person would be acting in an abnormal fashion if she were absent from class or work over half the time, that is, she was “away” more than she was present. Or a person would really be abnormal if she could abvolate, or fly “away” on wings!

Have you ever been absolutely sure about something, so much so that you were loosened “away” from all doubt? For instance, you might be absolutely sure that you will never be abducted or led “away” by aliens, but then again, others apparently have … so can you be “away” from all doubt after all about that?

If a queen were to abdicate her throne, she would say that she wanted to be “away” from it, that is, step down from being a queen. However, her people might love her so much that she would have to abort her plans, or be “away” from their rising successfully, thereby remaining on the throne.

SpongeBob SquarePants, being a sponge and all, is really into absorbing water, or sucking it “away” from the surrounding ocean so that it goes into himself. Although SpongeBob does like the soft water of the ocean, he probably wouldn’t like something abrasive, like sandpaper, which would scrape or scratch “away” at his yellow holey awesomeness, which is just what someone like Plankton might do. Although others might consider Plankton’s behavior to be aberrant, or wandering “away” from acceptable conduct, Plankton wouldn’t care as he scraped away in absent-minded, or maybe not so absent-minded glee!

“Away” with this podcast since you are indeed now absolutely in command of that English prefix!

  1. abnormal: “away” from being normal
  2. absent: being “away” from a place
  3. abvolate: fly “away”
  4. absolutely: loosened “away” from any doubt
  5. abduct: lead “away”
  6. abdicate: a monarch saying she wants to be “away” from being in power
  7. abort: “away” from rising or beginning
  8. absorb: suck “away”
  9. abrasive: relating to scraping “away” at
  10. aberrant: wander “away”


  • abortive

    An abortive attempt or action is cut short before it is finished; hence, it is unsuccessful.

  • abhor

    If you abhor something, you dislike it very much, usually because you think it's immoral.

  • abnegation

    Your abnegation of something is your giving up your rights or claim to it, even though it might not be in your best interest to do so.

  • ablution

    When you perform your ablutions, you wash yourself; this can be part of a religious ceremony as well.

  • ablation

    The process of ablation is the removal of diseased organs or harmful substances from the body, often through surgical procedure.

  • abject

    The word abject emphasizes a very bad situation or quality, thereby making it even worse.

  • abdicate

    If someone abdicates, they give up their responsibility for something, such as a king's transfer of power when he gives up his throne.

  • aberrant

    When something is aberrant, it is unusual, not socially acceptable, or a departure from the norm.

  • abrasive

    Someone who has an abrasive manner is unkind and rude, wearing away at you in an irritating fashion.

  • abominate

    If you abominate something, you hate it because you think it is extremely wrong and unacceptable.

  • abjure

    If you abjure a belief or a way of behaving, you state publicly that you will give it up or reject it.

  • absolve

    When you absolve someone, you publicly and formally say that they are not guilty or responsible for any wrongdoing.

  • disabuse

    If you disabuse someone of an idea or notion, you persuade them that the idea is in fact untrue.

  • abrogate

    To abrogate an act is to end it by official and sometimes legal means.

  • inveigle

    If you inveigle somebody, you cleverly manipulate them—usually by flattery or persuasion—to do something for you that they don't want to do.

  • abundant

    When you have an abundant amount of something, there is a lot or plenty of it.

  • abnormal

    That which is abnormal is unusual or out of the ordinary in some way.

  • absorb

    When something, such as a sponge, absorbs something else, such as water, it soaks it up or physically takes it in.

  • advantage

    An advantage is something that someone has that makes them more likely to succeed than someone who doesn't have it.

  • absolute

    If you know something with absolute certainty, you are total or complete in your belief in it.

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