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a combining form meaning “living substance,” “organelle,” “cell,” used in the formation of compound words: chloroplast; chromoplast; protoplast.
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Origin of -plast

Combining form representing Greek plastós formed, molded, equivalent to plath-, base of plássein to form, mold + -tos verbal adjective suffix, with tht>st.See plastic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -plast mean?

The combining formplast is used like a suffix meaning “living substance,” “cell,” or “organelle.” An organelle is “a cell organ.” The form –plast is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

The form –plast comes from the Greek plastós, meaning “formed, molded.” Find out how plastós is related to plasma, plaster, and plastic at our entry for each word.

What are variants of –plast?

The form –plast does not have any variants. However, it is related to the forms plastic and plasty, as in fibroplastic and rhinoplasty. Additional related forms include plasia, plasy, and plasm. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles for these forms.

Examples of -plast

One example of a scientific term that uses the form –plast is lipoplast, “a small particle in plant cytoplasm, especially that of seeds, in which fat is stored.”

The lipo part of the word means “fat,” from Greek lípos. As we have seen, the form –plast means “organelle.” Lipoplast literally translates to “fat organelle.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form chloro means “green.” With this in mind, what does chloroplast literally translate to?

How to use -plast in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -plast


n combining form
indicating an organized living cell or particle of living matterprotoplast

Word Origin for -plast

from Greek plastos formed, from plassein to form
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