Origin of -bacter
Words nearby -bacter
WORDS THAT USE -BACTER
What does -bacter mean?
The form -bacter comes from Greek báktron, meaning “stick.” Discover how the word for “stick” came to denote microorganisms at our entry for bacterium.
From a related Greek word, baktḗria, which means “staff” or “cane,” English inherits the combining forms bacter-, bacteri-, and bacterio-. Want to learn more? Check out our Words That Use articles for all three forms.
Related to both báktron and baktḗria is the Latin noun baculum, “staff,” the source of both the combining form bacill-, which refers to a type of rod-shaped bacteria, and baguette, a rod-shaped loaf of bread.
Examples of -bacter
One example of a scientific term that features -bacter is aerobacter, a type of short, rod-shaped bacterium. The term comes from Latin aerobacter, which uses the equivalent of the form -bacter.
The form aero- means “air,” while -bacter means “rod,” so aerobacter literally translates to “air rod.” Can you guess where these bacteria are thought to live?
What are some words that use the combining form –bacter?
- acetobacter (using the equivalent form of -bacter in Latin)
- Arthrobacter (using the equivalent form of -bacter in Latin)
What are some other forms that -bacter may be commonly confused with?