Posted by: Jack Henry | June 11, 2019

Editor’s Corner: Inner, inter-, and intra-

Thank you for your questions, everyone! You can always feel free to send them my way. It may take some time to get to them, but we have all the time in the world! Today’s question is about the word inner and the prefixes inter– and intra-. It is actually a two-parter: which of the following is correct, and what are the different meanings?

  • Inneroffice
  • Interoffice
  • Intraoffice

Let’s start with inneroffice. Inneroffice is not actually a word. Inner itself is word (adjective) meaning “situated farther in,” but it is not a prefix that we add to create other words. For example, you might say inner ear or inner sanctum.

Inter– and intra-, on the other hand, are prefixes that you can add to words to create new words. These are just some of the meanings and examples. For more, see Merriam-Webster and the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Prefix Etymology Meaning Examples
Inter From Latin inter (prep., adv.) "among, between, betwixt, in the midst of" (also used extensively as a prefix), from PIE *enter "between, among" (source also of Sanskrit antar, Old Persian antar "among, between," Greek entera (plural) "intestines," Old Irish eter, Old Welsh ithr "among, between," Gothic undar, Old English under "under"), Between, among, in the midst interpolar


Mutual, reciprocal intermarry



Between or among the parts of intercoastal



Carried on between intercollegiate



Shared by or derived from two or more interdepartmental


Intra From Latin, intra within, from Old Latin interus inward, on the inside Within intraglacial




During intranatal


Between layers intracutaneous
Underneath intradural

Whew! I think we need a puppy after that!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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