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a combining form occurring in compound words that denote a condition of the blood, as specified by the initial element: hyperemia.
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Origin of -emia

<New Latin <Greek -(h)aimía (as in anaimía want of blood), equivalent to haim- (stem of haîma) blood + -ia-ia

Words nearby -emia

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -emia mean?

The combining formemia 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 -emia 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 -emia) 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 -emia?

The spelling aemia is a chiefly British English variant of -emia.

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

Examples of -emia

In pathology, anemia 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, anemia refers to a lack of vitality or oomph, often appearing in its adjective form, anemic.

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

The word anemia 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 -emia?

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

Many other words end in the letters -emia, such as academia and Bohemia, but are not using it 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 hypoglycemia, the abnormally low level of glucose in the blood. Hypo- means “under, below normal.” Glyc- refers to “sugar” and “glucose.” What does hypoglycemia literally translate to?

How to use -emia in a sentence

  • Moses indeed calls this belt Albaneth; but we have learned from the Babylonians to call it Emia, for so it is by them called.

British Dictionary definitions for -emia


n combining form
a US variant of -aemia
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