1. a combining form used in taxonomic names of animals, especially orders of birds and fish, meaning “having the form of ”:

    Beryciformes; Passeriformes.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of -iformes1

< New Latin, plural of -iformis; -i-, -form


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Words That Use -iformes

What does -iformes mean?

The combining formiformes is used like a suffix meaning “having the form of.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in the taxonomic names of animals.

The form –iformes comes from Latin –iformis, meaning “having the form of.” The equivalent combining form from Greek is morphous, from morphḗ, meaning “form.”

What are variants of –iformes?

In many scientific terms, the form –iformes is a variant of form, as in dentiform. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article on –form.

Examples of -iformes

A taxonomic name that uses the form –iformes is Decapodiformes, also known as squid, “any of several ten-armed cephalopods.”

The form deca means “ten,” from Greek deka-. The second combining form, pod means “foot,” from Greek poús. Finally, as we have seen, the form –iformes means “having the form of.” Decapodiformes literally translates to “having the form of ten feet.”

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

  • Acariformes
  • Lorisiformes
  • Ophidiiformes
  • Parasitiformes
  • Strigiformes
  • Trogoniformes

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

Break it down!

The word acarus means “mite,” from Greek ákari. With this in mind, what does Acariformes mean?




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