[ spur-mik ]
/ ˈspɜr mɪk /
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Origin of spermic

First recorded in 1855–60; sperm- + -ic

Other definitions for spermic (2 of 2)


variant of -spermal: endospermic.

Origin of -spermic

<New Latin -spermicus.See -sperm, -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does -spermic mean?

The combining form -spermic is used like a suffix to mean “of or relating to one who has seeds.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in botany.

The form -spermic comes from Latin -spermicus, which uses the equivalent forms of -sperm and -ic in Latin. The suffix -ic means “having some characteristics of,” from both Greek -ikós and Latin -icus.

What are variants of -spermic?

The forms -spermous and -spermal, as in gymnospermous and gymnospermal, are both variants of -spermic. The related form -sperm is used for nouns instead of adjectives.

The forms sperm-, spermato-, and spermo- are also combining forms from Greek spérma that are variously used like prefixes to mean “sperm” or “seed.”

Want to learn more? Check out our Words That Use entries for each of these seven forms.

Examples of -spermic

One example of a term from botany that features the combining form -spermic is angiospermic, “of or relating to a plant having its seeds enclosed in an ovary.” Orchids, pea plants, and grass are all examples of angiosperms.

The angio- portion of the word means “vessel” or “container.” Because the form -spermic means “of or relating to one who has seeds,” angiospermic literally translates to “of or relating to one having seeds [in a] vessel.”

What are some words that use the combining form -spermic?

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

Break it down!

Some seeds are known as gymnospermic. Given that gymno- means “bare” or “exposed,” what characterizes a gymnospermic seed? (Hint: it’s the opposite of what characterizes an angiospermic seed.)

British Dictionary definitions for spermic

/ (ˈspɜːmɪk) /

another word for spermatic
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