combining form from Greek chóndros "grain (of wheat, salt, etc.), seed, groats, gristle, cartilage (this sense perhaps from the gritty texture of cartilage when chewed)," of uncertain origin
Older etymological literature assumes that chóndros is dissimilated from *chrónd-ros, with a base *chrond- comparable to Germanic *grindan- "to grind" and Latin frendere "to grind one's teeth" (see grind entry 1). However, if going back to an Indo-European base, the Latin verb requires an initial *ghw-, which could not yield ch- in Greek. An Indo-European source for chóndros thus remains questionable.