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a combining form occurring in abstract nouns that correspond to adjectives ending in -tropic or -tropous: neurotropy.
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Also -tropism.

Origin of -tropy

<Greek -tropia.See -trope, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -tropy mean?

The combining formtropy is used like a suffix to form abstract nouns corresponding to adjectives ending in -tropic and -tropous, such as how neurotropy is the quality of being neurotropic.

These endings variously denote “turning, changing, reacting, responding.” Learn more about -tropic and -tropous at our Words That Use articles for the forms.

The form -tropy ultimately comes from the Greek trópos, “turn,” and tropḗ, “a turning.” The Greek trópos is also the source of the words trope and tropical. It’s your turn to make the connection between “turning,” figures of speech, and the tropics at our entries for the words.

What are variants of -tropy?

In some instances, -tropism is used as a variant of -tropy, as in hydrotropism.

Corresponding forms of -tropy combined to the beginning of words are tropo- and trop-, which you learn more about at our Words That Use articles for the forms.

Examples of -tropy

Syntropy is “the occasional tendency of two diseases to coalesce into one,” among other senses.

The first part of the word, syn, means “with” or “together.” The second part of the word, –tropy, indicates “turning” or “changing.” Syntropy, then, literally translates to “turning or changing together.”

Related to the word syntropy is entropy, the tendency of a system toward disorder. Make some order out of this important concept at our entry for the word.

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




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

Break it down!

Isotropy is a physics term for the “state of having equal physical properties along all axes.” Given that the form aniso- means “unequal,” what is the state of anisotropy characterized by?

Medical definitions for -tropy


The state of turning in a specified way or from a specified stimulus:thixotropy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.