variants: or myco-

Definition of myc-

: fungus mycology mycosis

History and Etymology for myc-

New Latin, from myc- (from base of Greek mykēt-, mýkēs "mushroom, fungus," of uncertain origin) + -o- -o-

Note: Greek mykēt-, mýkēs is conventionally linked with the base *muk- implied in Greek mýssomai, mýssesthai "to blow one's nose, snort," myktḗr "nostril," mýxa "nasal discharge, slime, nostril, snout, lamp wick" (see myxo-), on the assumption that the sliminess of some mushrooms could give rise to a generic derivative meaning "mushroom." However, other senses of mýkēs ("cap at the end of a scabbard," "excrescence (of flesh or on trees)," "penis," "stump of an olive tree") suggest that the root sense may have been something like "smooth protuberance." If the word mýskloi (glossed by the lexicographer Hesychius as pythménes tôn xērôn sýkōn "stalks of dried fig trees") is related, the word may have been borrowed from a pre-Greek substratum.

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Cite this Entry

“Myc-.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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