The Meaning of Omni: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the prefix omni means? This guide will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the prefix omni, including its definition, usage, synonyms, origin, and more!

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What is the definition of omni?

According to Dictionary and Lexico, omni is a prefix or combining form that means “all” or “in all ways or places” and is used in the formation of different compound words. According to Grammarly, a compound word is when two words are used together to create a new meaning. Words using the prefix omni would be considered closed compounds because they are joined to form a single word and do not use a dash or space. Enchanted Learning states that a prefix is a group of letters that are placed before a root word that are used to alter or adjust that word’s meaning. Many prefixes come from different Latin words. 

What is the etymology of the prefix omni?

According to Etymonline, the word-forming element omni comes directly from the Latin prefix omni. This combines the form of omnis meaning “all, every, the whole,.” with a word of unknown origin. It is speculated that the word meant something related to abundance. There are now many different words that make use of this Latin prefix in everyday usage.

What are words that start with omni? What do they mean?

There are many different words that start with the prefix omni. These are listed below from The Free Dictionary alongside their definitions and relation to the prefix omni, meaning “all.”

  • omnidirectional: Something that sends and receives signals in all directions.
  • omnicompetent: Someone who is able to deal with or judge all or any number of matters.
  • omnipresent: Something or someone that is present in all locations at the same time.
  • omniscient/omniscience: Something that has all knowledge, awareness or understanding.
  • omnivore: Something or someone that eats all kinds of foods indiscriminately.
  • omnifarious: Something that comes in all forms, varieties or kinds.
  • omnipotent/omnipotence: Something that is all-powerful, or having infinite authority.
  • omnificent: Someone or something that has the power to create all things.
  • omnirange: A navigational radio-based aid where stations emit signals in 360 degrees to show where the magnetic north is. It sends signals in all directions.
  • omnibus: A volume of all of one singular author’s works or related works.
  • omnific: One who creates all things.

How can words containing the prefix omni be used in a sentence?

There are many different ways to use words that contain the prefix omni. In this first example, June will use the word omnivore, which means a creature that eats both meat-based and plant-based food.

June: Some dinosaurs were carnivores, which meant they only ate meat. Some dinosaurs were herbivores, which meant they only ate plants. Some dinosaurs are like us, and they’re omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants.

Jamie: I’m not an omnivore. I’m a vegetarian.

June: Well then you can hang out with the brontosaurus.

Here, June uses the word omnivore to describe a dinosaur that eats both meat and plants. In the next example, June will use the word omniscient, which means something that is all-knowing, to describe their teacher.

Jamie: I don’t get it. How is it possible that Madame Henderson always seems to know what we’re talking about? It’s like she can read minds.

June: Maybe she can. Or maybe she’s an omniscient God who knows everything and someday she’s going to take over the whole school!

Jamie: I hate to say it, but I think my mind-reader idea is more plausible. You’ve been watching too much television. 

What are other prefixes that mean the same thing as omni?

One similar prefix to the prefix omni is the prefix “all.” According to MacMillan Dictionary, the prefix all- can be used with numerous different adjectives and nouns to show that something includes everything, or to add emphasis. This is similar to the prefix omni, but is usually affixed to the beginning of an already-existing adjective with a dash. Examples of different words beginning with all- alongside their definitions are below alongside their definitions.

  • all-expense: Something that includes all of the necessary expenses, like the full cost of a trip, i.e. an all-expense vacation to Disneyland includes the cost of the hotel room, park admission, and food.
  • all-star: A team that consists of the best athletes overall.
  • all-around: Something that is broadly applicable, or comprehensive, i.e. an all-around good person.
  • all-in-one: Something that combines multiple different uses into one product, i.e. an all-in-one shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
  • all-inclusive: including everything, or comprehensive, i.e. an all-inclusive resort’s fees include access to every area of the resort, food, and a hotel room.

Overall, omni is a Latin prefix that means “all” or “of all things.” This prefix can be affixed at the beginning of many different words in the English language. This prefix comes from the Latin word omnis, meaning “all.”

Sources:

  1. https://www.etymonline.com/word/omni-
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/all-expense?s=t
  3. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/all-star?s=t
  4. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnirange?s=t
  5. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnifarious?s=t
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnivore#
  7. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/open-and-closed-compound-words/
  8. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnific?s=ts
  9. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/all-around#
  10. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnibus
  11. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/all-in-one?s=t
  12. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/open-and-closed-compound-words/
  13. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omniscient#
  14. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnipresent?s=t
  15. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnipotent#
  16. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/all-inclusive#
  17. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/words-that-start-with-omni
  18. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/all_2
  19. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnicompetent#
  20. https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/omni-
  21. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnificent?s=t
  22. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omni-
  23. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/omnidirectional#