The prefix dys- derives from the Greek and has a number of unfavourable meanings. In Greek, using this prefix denoted the opposite of anything that was easy, favourable or fortunate, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Etymology.
Connotations include: impaired, defective, difficult, slow, wrong, ill, harsh, disordered and bad.
There are a number of common words which use this prefix:
- dyscalculia: difficulty in solving mathematical problems
- dysentery: an intestinal disorder
- dysfunction: abnormal or impaired function; hence, dysfunctional
- dysgraphia: inability to write correctly because of impairment in brain function
- dyskinesia: impairment of the the ability to make voluntary movements
- dyslexia: difficulty with processing written language, resulting in reading and spelling difficulties
A longer list is available on the WordQuests site.