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From the English preposition cis (on this side of). The earliest known gender-related use of the prefix in any language was in a 1914 German-language book on sexology.[1] According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest use of the prefix in the context of gender in English dates from 1994.[2]



  1. (geography) On this side of.
    Antonym: trans-
    Sandbox + ‎alpine → ‎cisalpine (on this [the Roman] side of the Alps)
    Sandbox + ‎Rhenane → ‎cisrhenane (on this [the speaker's] side of Rhine)
    Sandbox + ‎Caucasia → ‎Ciscaucasia
    Sandbox + ‎Jordan → ‎Cisjordan
    Sandbox + ‎Neptunian → ‎cis-Neptunian
  2. (chemistry) Forming names of chemical compounds in which two atoms or groups are situated on the same side of some plane of symmetry passing through the compound.
    Sandbox + ‎diazene → ‎cis-diazene
  3. (gender) Cis; cisgender or cissexual.
    Sandbox + ‎man → ‎cisman
    Sandbox + ‎woman → ‎ciswoman
    Sandbox + ‎male → ‎cismale
    Sandbox + ‎female → ‎cisfemale
  4. (gender) Of, related to, or specific to cis persons.
    Sandbox + ‎gender → ‎cisgender
    Sandbox + ‎sexism → ‎cissexism
    Sandbox + ‎normativity → ‎cisnormativity

Usage notesEdit

  • In the first sense, “on this side of”, this prefix is usually attached directly to the word it modifies, or sometimes separated from it by a hyphen: cisrhenane, cis-Neptunian.
  • In the gender-related senses, this prefix is attached directly to certain words, most notably cisgender and cissexual (which are almost always spelled thus, not as e.g. *cis sexual). In other cases, the related standalone adjective cis is used: hence one speaks of a cis perspective (not *cisperspective), etc. In particular, it is now sometimes considered offensive to write cisman or cis-man, the preferred spelling being cis man (cis man). Compare trans- and trans.


Derived termsEdit

Category English words prefixed with Sandbox not found


See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ Ernst Burchard (1914) Lexikon des gesamten Sexuallebens (in German)
  2. ^ New words notes December 2015 – Oxford English Dictionary