Is there a prefix to denote neutrality?

English has prefixes to denote opposition as well as absence.

For example:

  • ‘gnostic’ vs ‘agnostic’ (having knowledge vs absence of knowledge)
  • ‘social’ vs ‘asocial’ vs ‘anti social’ (being social, not being social, being against society)

However there is a subtle difference between the absence of something and being neutral towards it. For example let;s say that I want to indicate that I am a little bit social, but not too social.

I am not ‘asocial’ because it’s false that I am not social. But I am also not fully social. Rather I am something in the middle.

The above is just an example, it doesn’t have to be the word ‘social’ I just want to know whether English has a prefix to explicitly convey the subtility of neutrality.


You can go with quasi-

resembling in some degree


1.1Being partly or almost.

This is demonstrated well by your own example of social


(Of an activity or relationship) having some but not all of the
features that would identify it as genuinely social; having a social
aspect but with some other purpose or motivation; Zoology (especially
with reference to insects and spiders) exhibiting some of the
characteristics of social organization, especially cooperative brood

This would work for many examples (quasi-literate, quasi-real, quasi-federalist), but it wouldn’t work so well with gnostic because capital-G Gnostic has such a specific meaning. Quasi-Gnostic has the meaning, resembling or having some parts of Gnosticism. But I’m not sure there is a need to need to distinguish between the literal meaning of gnostic and agnostic in any event. These usages are uncommon and likely to be confused if you try to find a middle ground. Either you have knowledge, or you do not. In real world usages, agnostic is already a midway point between theist and atheist.

Source : Link , Question Author : Makogan , Answer Author : GArthurBrown

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