a combining form with the meaning “ray, beam,” used in the formation of compound words, with the particular senses “radiation” in the physical sciences (actinometer) and “having raylike structures,” “radiate in form” in biology (actinomyces; actinopod).
Also especially before a vowel, actin-.
Origin of actino-
< Greek, combining form representing aktī́s (genitive aktînos) ray, beam; see -o-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
before a vowel actin-
indicating a radial structureactinomorphic
indicating radioactivity or radiationactinometer
Word Origin for actino-
from Greek aktino-, from aktis beam, ray
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
before vowels actin-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to rays," from Greek aktis (genitive aktinos) "ray, radiance;" perhaps cognate with Sanskrit aktuh "light, ray," Gothic uhtwo "dawn, daybreak," Lithuanian anksti "early."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.