Apparently, anti is a word already available in Greek, meaning against. However, it seems this word did not reach Latin.

Still, Wikipedia entries of common English words that have anti as prefix are incorporated into Latin, keeping the anti prefix. For example, anticapitalismus, antivirus, antiglobalisation, etc.

I imagine these words adapt the English word that does exist in Latin (e.g. capitalism to capitalismum), but keep the anti prefix for simplicity, or maybe because there is no such prefix in Latin. Is there?

In other words, if you were to translate anticapitalism literally, how would you say it? Something like in capitalismi or adversus capitalismi? For example,

Modus in capitalismi est in cresente


The closest Latin prefix I can think of is contra-. I'm not sure if it as exact synonym of anti-, but certainly close enough for many purposes; both contra- and anti- mean "against". The English prefix "counter-" appears to be a descendant of this Latin prefix.

It seems that in front of words related to vertere, it is often contro- instead of contra-.

The prefix is attested, but appears to be post-classical. Perhaps it was more purely a preposition in the classical period, and merged with some other words later on. I found these examples in L&S:

I think the prefix can be used productively in a modern context. I believe contracapitalismus is quite understandable. However, for established technical terms, I would prefer to keep the original prefix anti-. Greek influences are not a particularly non-Latin phenomenon.

Concerning your example of anticapitalism, there is a difference in English between "anticapitalism" and "against capitalism". Semantically they are close, but their syntactic behavior is different. If you want to translate the concept anticapitalism in Latin, I would go with anticapitalismus, but I would also consider contracapitalismus, depending on context.


Classical Latin does of course have anti- in Greek loanwords (e.g. antithesis), but does not seem to use it in combination with Latin words.

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