Origin of -carpous
Words nearby -carpous
WORDS THAT USE -CARPOUS
What does -carpous mean?
The combining form -carpous is used like a suffix meaning “fruited,” “having fruit, fruiting bodies, or carpels of a given sort.” It is often used in scientific terms, especially in botany.
The form -carpous comes from the Greek karpós, meaning “fruit.” The word carpel also ultimately derives from the Greek karpós. A carpel is a simple pistil, which comprises the female organs of a flower—the parts that bear seeds.
Equivalent to -carpous is -carpic. So, eucarpous can also be spelled as eucarpic; they both still mean the same thing. The combining form -carpic is used to form adjectives of words ending in -carp.
All of these forms bear a lot of lexical “fruit,” but what’s the difference between them? Read Our Words That use -carpic and -carp articles to find out.
Examples of -carpous
One example of a term from biology that features -carpous is angiocarpous. Angiocarpous describes a fruit that is partially enclosed, as in a shell or husk. It can also refer to a fungus or lichen whose fruiting body is enclosed.
The first part of the word, angio-, means “vessel, container” and can refer to things that act as vessels or containers, e.g., blood vessels or shells. As we know, -carpous means “having fruit.” So, angiocarpous means “having fruit in a container.”
What are some words that use the combining form –carpous?
- acrocarpous (using the equivalent form of -carpous in Greek)
- syncarpous (using the equivalent form of -carpous in New Latin)
While the look and sound alike, be sure not to confuse -carpous with such words as corpus or corpse. These origin of these words isn’t “fruiting bodies”: it’s “body.” Learn more at our entries for these words.
Break it down!
The combining form pleuro- can mean “side” or “lateral.” In general terms, pleurocarpous mosses produce their spores along what part of their stems?