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combining form


Simple Definition of combining form

  • linguistics : a form of a word (such as electro- in electromagnetic or mal- in malodorous ) that only occurs as a part of other words

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of combining form

  1. :  a linguistic form that occurs only in compounds or derivatives and can be distinguished descriptively from an affix by its ability to occur as one immediate constituent of a form whose only other immediate constituent is an affix (as cephal- in cephalic) or by its being derived from an independent word (as electro- representing electric in electromagnet or para- representing parachute in paratrooper) or can be distinguished historically from an affix by the fact that it is borrowed from another language in which it is descriptively a word or a combining form (as French mal giving English mal- in malodorous)


First Known Use of combining form


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up combining form? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to the heavens

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