It Takes Two: Diplo

Learn these prefixes that can make you think twice about the words they form: bi, di, diplo

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. diploma
    a document certifying the completion of a course of study
    A college degree is the new high school diploma.Washington Post (Oct 22, 2015)
    diplo (double, twofold) + oma (suffix indicating the result of an action)
    The prefix is composed of two parts: di (two, twice, double) + plicare (to fold). Although modern images of diplomas show them as either rolled up or hung on the wall, in the past, they were folded double. Unlike most diplomas today, ancient documents were made from tougher materials (which explains the slangy term "sheepskin").
  2. diplomacy
    negotiation between nations
    But diplomacy faces an uphill battle with both sides deadlocked on the big issues and the current leaders being dragged along.US News (Oct 20, 2015)
    diplo (double, twofold) + oma (suffix indicating the result of an action) + cy (suffix forming abstract nouns)
    While many diplomats have received academic diplomas, the political sense of "diplomacy" can be traced back to the time when a diploma was an official document that conferred privilege but did not confirm education.
  3. diplomatic
    marked by tact in dealing with sensitive matters or people
    And while everything he said sounded fairly diplomatic, his comments were loaded with plenty of negative subtext. Los Angeles Times (Oct 7, 2015)
    diplo (double, twofold) + oma (suffix indicating the result of an action) + ic (suffix forming adjectives)
    "Diplomatic" used to describe any official document, text, or charter. The sense of tactful negotiation between nations and people comes from its frequent appearance in the titles of collections of international treaties. While a general meaning for the collections had been intended, readers connected the contents to their titles and thus made the adjective more specific.
  4. diploid
    of a cell or organism having two sets of chromosomes or twice the haploid number
    Individual human genomes are diploid in nature, with half of the homologous chromosomes being derived from each parent.Nature (Jul 11, 2012)
    diplo (double, twofold) + eidos (form)
    As entire organisms, humans are diploid, but within our bodies, we have both diploid and haploid cells. The cells of skin, blood, and muscles are diploid, while gametes (sperm or eggs) are haploid, so that when a male and female reproduce, the offspring is diploid. There are cases of human triploidy, but this abnormal condition causes many defects that make survival difficult and rare.
  5. diplopia
    visual impairment in which an object is seen as two objects
    Several patients complained of diplopia during the febrile stage, and one asserted that every object appeared fourfold to him.Various
    diplo (double, twofold) + ops (eye) + ia (suffix indicating disease)
    If you're seeing two of the same thing next to each other, then you have horizontal diplopia; if one of the two is above or below the other, then you have vertical diplopia; if you're seeing double because of crossed eyes, then you have binocular diplopia. Diplopia can be a temporary condition caused by fever, headaches, or drunkenness. But it can also be a symptom of more serious diseases, such as diabetes or brain cancer.
  6. diplococcus
    Gram-positive bacteria usually occurring in pairs
    For instance, not a few healthy noses and throats contain the bacillus of diphtheria and the diplococcus of pneumonia.Hutchinson, Woods
    diplo (double, twofold) + kokkos (grain, seed, berry)
    The example sentence was taken from a medical textbook that was first published in 1907, when diplococcus was so-called because of the way it looked. Closer observation revealed that the bacteria grew in twisted chains, so it was renamed to streptococcus. In addition to pneumonia, streptococcus can cause pink eye, meningitis, or a sore throat; yet many species are necessary parts of healthy bodies and Swiss cheese.
  7. duplicate
    being two identical
    It even has the ability to hunt down duplicate pictures to cut down on your digital clutter.Time (Jun 8, 2015)
    diplo (double, twofold) + ate (suffix forming adjectives, nouns, or verbs)
    As the suffix suggests, identical forms of "duplicate" can be identified as different parts of speech. The example sentence uses the word as an adjective to modify the noun "pictures." But the picture that you duplicate can also be called a duplicate. As a verb, "duplicate" can be synonymous with "replicate" ("make or do or perform again"--with the intention of producing the same thing or result).
  8. duplication
    the act of copying or making a duplicate of something
    It would have also introduced massive confusion and duplication on the two companies.Forbes (Oct 16, 2014)
    diplo (double, twofold) + ation (suffix forming nouns of action)
    As the example sentence suggests, "duplication" often has a negative tone associated with confusion and waste. "Reduplication" sounds even more unnecessary, but when applied to speech, it can be a useful and memorable act of repetition.
  9. duplicitous
    marked by deliberate deceptiveness
    The piece was created by a duplicitous scribe and double agent who duped the King of England.BBC (Dec 12, 2014)
    diplo (double, twofold) + ity (suffix forming abstract nouns) + ous (suffix forming adjectives)
    In sound and meaning, "dupe" and "duplicitous" are connected. But "dupe" is likely to have derived from the Middle French phrase "de huppe" which translates to "of the hoopoe." A hoopoe is a bird with a huge crest on its head that makes it seem stupid and easily duped (fooled or tricked).
  10. duplicity
    the act of deceiving or acting in bad faith
    There's always the possibility of duplicity, and that means that our faith in others requires strong logic and plain reason.Slate (Sep 25, 2014)
    diplo (double, twofold) + ity (suffix forming abstract nouns)
    As the definition and example sentence show, the noun has a negative tone. Two alternatives for referring to the nature of things or people with more than one part are: biplicity, multiplicity.

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