: bad
: unpleasant

Word History


borrowed from Greek, combining form from kakós "bad, of poor quality, worthless, low-born, unsightly," of uncertain origin

Note: R. Beekes (Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009) notes earlier comparisons of Greek kakós with Old Avestan kasu- "small, slight" (from Indo-European *kn̥ḱ-?) or alternatively with Lithuanian keñkti "to ache" and the base of Germanic *hungru- "hunger" (see hunger entry 1). Chantraine more circumspectly notes (Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque): "as with many words meaning 'bad,' no established etymology. Originally a colloquial and expressive word" ("Comme beaucoup de mots signifiant 'mal', pas d'étymologie établie. Mot familier et expressif à l'origine").

Dictionary Entries Near caco-

Cite this Entry

“Caco-.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caco-. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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