: tumor

Word History


borrowed from Greek onko-, combining form of ónkos "mass, bulk," (Late Greek, "lump formed by a tumor"), of uncertain origin

Note: Traditionally ónkos has been treated as an o-grade nominal derivative of enenkeîn "to carry" (suppletive aorist of phérein), going back to a reduplicated aorist formation *h1é-h1n̥ḱ-e- from the verbal base *h1nek- "carry." But given the certainty of this base, a derivative *h1onḱ- would require assumption of a floating ablaut vowel. Perhaps more crucially, ónkos is nowhere attested in the meaning "burden," a necessary link if it is semantically derived from a verb "carry."

Dictionary Entries Near onco-

Cite this Entry

“Onco-.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onco-. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!