July 08, 2012
disconcert (verb)
\diss-kun-SERT\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to disturb the arrangement of : upset2 : to disturb the self-control of
How do you use it?
Dana didn't let poor playing by the orchestra to disconcert her during her vocal performance in the musical.
Are you a word wiz?

The prefix "dis-" in front of a verb often means "do the opposite of" something. In which one of these four words does "dis-" NOT mean "do the opposite of"?

It's D that disturbs the usual arrangement. To "dislodge" someone is to force them out of a place, but to "lodge" them is to provide them with shelter. While "disgrace" means "to bring shame to," "grace" means "to give an honor to." And to "discover" something is to take the "cover" off of it. "Disperse," which means "to scatter," doesn't fit in here, since there's no verb "to perse." The root of "disperse" is "dispergere," a Latin verb meaning "to scatter," created by combining "dis-" and "spargere," which also means "to scatter." "Disperse" is an example of a word in which "dis-" doesn't indicate the opposite, but instead has an intensifying effect.
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