Save This Word!

variant of antho- especially before a vowel.
Test how much you really know about regular and irregular plural nouns with this quiz.
Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does anth- mean?

Anth- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “flower.” It appears in some medical and scientific terms, especially in botany.

Anth- comes from the Greek ánthos, meaning “flower.”

Anth– is a variant of antho-, which loses its -o- when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use antho article.

Examples of anth-

One example of a scientific term related to the combining form anth- is anthesis, “the period or act of expansion in flowers, especially the maturing of the stamens.”

Anthesis comes from the Greek ánthēsis, meaning “a bloom.” The first part of the Greek word features a stem of a verb meaning “to bloom,” related to ánthos, which means “flower.” The second part of the word is -sis, a suffix variously indicating action, processes, states, or conditions. The word anthesis, then, literally means “state of blooming.”

What are some words related to the combining form anth-?

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



Many other words begin with the letters anth- but do not use anth- as a combining form meaning “flower.” Anthem is one example; discover its origins at our entry for the word.

Also note that some scientific terms that begin with anth-, such as anthelion and anthelix, are using ant-, a variant of anti- before vowels or H.

Break it down!

The anther is the pollen-bearing part of a stamen, which is the male fertilizing organ of a flower that also includes the filament. Anther comes from anthera, which was a name for certain medicines in the Middle Ages. Based on the meaning of anth-, what were these medicines made from?

How to use anth- in a sentence