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a combining form of adjectives corresponding to nouns formed with -coccus: streptococcal.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -coccal mean?

The combining formcoccal is used like a suffix meaning “pertaining to a coccus.” Coccus is a scientific term with two meanings. In terms from bacteriology, it means “spherical bacterium.” In terms from botany, it refers to the mericarp, one segment of a schizocarp, a kind of fruit.

The form –coccal comes from a combination of two forms. The first is coccus, from Greek kókkos, meaning “grain, seed, or berry.” The second is the suffix al, from Latin –ālis, meaning “of the kind of, pertaining to, having the form or character of.”

What are variants of –coccal?

While –coccal doesn’t have any variants, it is related to the form –coccus, as in streptococcus. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article for –coccus.

Examples of -coccal

An example of a word you may have encountered that features –coccal is streptococcal, adjective form of streptococcus, a type of bacteria that can cause such illnesses as scarlet fever, strep throat, and tonsillitis.

Strepto means “twisted,” from Greek streptós, while the form –coccal means “pertaining to a coccus.” Streptococcal literally translates to “pertaining to a twisted coccus.”

What are some words that use the combining form –coccal?

What are some other forms that –coccal may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form micro means “small.” With this in mind, what does micrococcal literally mean?

How to use -coccal in a sentence