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a combining form meaning “few,” “little,” used in the formation of compound words:
Also, especially before a vowel, olig-.
Origin of oligo-
< Greek, combining form of olígos little, few (in plural) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for oligo-


combining form
indicating a few or little: oligopoly
Word Origin
from Greek olígos little, few
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 oligo-

before vowels olig-, word-forming element meaning "few, the few," from comb. form of Greek oligos "few, scanty, small, little," in plural, "the few;" of uncertain origin.

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

oligo- or olig-
Few: oligosaccharide.

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