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variant of -emia: anaemia.
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What does -aemia mean?

The combining form -aemia is used like a suffix to denote an abnormal blood condition, especially the presence of a certain kind of substance in the blood that causes disease. It is used in many medical terms, especially in pathology.

The form -aemia ultimately comes from the Greek haîma, meaning “blood.” Haîma is the same Greek root that gives us the combining form hemo- meaning “blood,” as in hemoblast.

Variants of hemo- (and closely related to -aemia) are haem-, haema-, haemo-, haemat-, haemato-, hem-, hema-, hemat-, and hemato-. Learn more about their specific applications at our Words That Use articles for the forms.

What are variants of -aemia?

The combining form -aemia is a variant of -emia and is chiefly used in British English. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use –emia article.

Historically, -aemia has been written as -æmia, featuring a ligature of the a and e.

When combined with words or word elements ending with -p, -t, or -k, -aemia becomes -haemia, as in thrombocythaemia, or, in American English, -hemia (thrombocythemia).

Examples of -aemia

Anaemia is a variant spelling of anemia. In pathology, anaemia is a deficiency of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to tissue in the body. This condition can result in feeling weak and having a pale color. Figuratively, anaemia refers to a lack of vitality or oomph, often appearing in its adjective form, anaemic.

The first part of the word, an-, means “not,” “without,” or “lacking.” The -aemia part of the word, as we’ve seen, concerns blood. Anaemia literally translates to “lacking blood.”

The word anaemia comes from the Greek anaimía, which uses the equivalent forms of an- and -emia in the language.

What are some words that use the combining form -aemia?

What are some other forms that -aemia may be commonly confused with?

Many other words end in the letters -emia, such as academia and Bohemia, but are not using -aemia or -emia as a combining form to denote a blood condition. Study up on their wandering ways at our entries for the words.

Break it down!

Treating diabetes can result in hypoglycaemia, the abnormally low level of glucose in the blood. Hypo- means “under, below normal.” Glyc- refers to “sugar” and “glucose.” What does hypoglycaemia literally translate to?

British Dictionary definitions for -aemia


-haemia, US -emia or US -hemia

n combining form
denoting blood, esp a specified condition of the blood in names of diseasesleukaemia

Word Origin for -aemia

New Latin, from Greek -aimia, from haima blood
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

Medical definitions for -aemia


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