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a combining form meaning “the dead,” “corpse,” “dead tissue,” used in the formation of compound words:
Also, especially before a vowel, necr-.
Origin of necro-
< Greek nekro-, combining form of nekrós dead person, corpse, (adj.) dead Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for necro-


combining form
indicating death, a dead body, or dead tissue: necrology, necrophagous, necrosis
Word Origin
from Greek nekros corpse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for necro-

before vowels, necr-, word-forming element meaning "death, corpse, dead tissue," from comb. form of Greek nekros "dead body, corpse, dead person," from PIE *nek- "death, natural death" (cf. Sanskrit nasyati "disappears, perishes," Avestan nasyeiti "disappears," nasu- "corpse," Old Persian vi-nathayatiy "he injures;" Latin nex, genitive necis "violent death, murder" (as opposed to mors), nocere "to harm, hurt," noxius "harmful;" Greek nekus "dead" (adj.), nekros "dead body, corpse;" Old Irish ec, Breton ankou, Welsh angeu "death").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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necro- in Medicine

necro- or necr-

  1. Dead body; corpse: necrophilia.

  2. Death: necrobiosis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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