Origin of -pterous
Words nearby -pterous
WORDS THAT USE -PTEROUS
What does -pterous mean?
The combining form -pterous is used like a suffix meaning “having wings” of a certain number or type. It is often used in scientific terms, especially in zoology. Very occasionally, -pterous refers to fins.
The form -pterous comes from the Greek pterón, meaning “feather” or “wing.” And yes, pterodactyl also comes from the Greek pterón. Find out the connection at our entry for the impressive name of this ancient winged reptile.
Other combining forms closely related to -pterous include ptero-, pter-, and -pter. Discover their over-flapping—er, overlapping—senses at our Words That Use articles for the words. Also related to -pterous is pterygo-, connected to pterygoid, and pterido-, which is used for ferns.
Examples of -pterous
The word brachypterous, meaning “having short wings,” is an example of a scientific term that features the combining form -pterous.
The first part of the word, brachy-, means “short.” As we now know, -pterous means “having wings.” Brachypterous literally translates to “short-winged.” Greek roots can really help your word skills take flight!
What are some words that use the combining form –pterous?
Many words in English that contain -pterous actually derive from the equivalent form of -pterous in Greek or Latin, as noted below.
- apterous (using the equivalent form of -pterous in Greek)
- dipterous (using the equivalent form of -pterous in Greek)
- orthopterous (using the equivalent form of -pterous in New Latin)
- tetrapterous (using the equivalent form of -pterous in Greek)
What are some other forms that -pterous may be commonly confused with?