The prefix non-, which means ?not,? comes from Latin non. The prefix was used primarily in Roman law terms that were adopted into Old French, and then into English. By the 16th century, many compounds with non, mostly legal terms, were in use in English. But in the 17th century the prefix began to be used with many different kinds of words. Today non- can be added to almost any adjective. Some examples include nonessential, nonmetallic, and nonproductive. Non- also combines with many nouns, as in nonentity, nonresident, and nonviolence. Most recently non- is used in combination with some verbs to form adjectives, as in nonskid and nonstop.    1

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