away, off
(Notable English members of this family are of, off, after, apology, apocalypse and apostrophe. Check the entry for more details.)
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Word Family

Root: *apo-

The core idea of this root was:

off, away

It’s still well preserved in the German word ab.
English offspring are of, off and after, as well ebb (the water is “away”).
And it’s also the origin of the words with the Latin prefix ab- and the branch around the Greek apo-.
Here’s a little (incomplete) overview:

  • abnormal (away from normal)
  • abdicate (“say away”)
  • apology (“the speech that removes”)
  • apocalypse (Originally: “taking the lid away” – it used to be about insights, not doom)
  • aperitif (removing the cover, starting)
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