[ spur-muhs ]


  1. of the nature of or pertaining to sperm.


  1. variant of -spermal:



/ ˈspɜːməs /


  1. of or relating to the sperm whale or its products
  2. another word for spermatic

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Other Words From

  • multi·spermous adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of spermous1

First recorded in 1815–25; sperm 1 + -ous

Origin of spermous2

< Greek -spermos, adj. derivative of spérma; sperm 1


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Words That Use -Spermous

What does -spermous mean?

The combining form -spermous 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 -spermous ultimately comes from the Greek spérma, meaning “sperm” or “seed.” This root is combined with the suffix -ous, from the Latin -ōsus, meaning “possessing, full of” a given quality.

What are variants of –spermous?

A less common variant of -spermous is -spermal, as in angiospermal. Another variant of -spermous is -spermic, as in endospermic.

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 -spermous

One example of a term from botany that features the combining form -spermous is dispermous, meaning “having two seeds.”

The combining form di- has a variety of meanings, including “two.” As we know, -spermous means “one who has seeds,” and dispermous literally translates to “one who has two seeds.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form tri- means “three.” With this in mind, what does trispermous mean?

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