bacteri- or sometimes before a vowel bacter-

Save This Word!

combining form
indicating bacteria or an action or condition relating to or characteristic of bacteriabacteriology; bactericide; bacteroid
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Word Origin for bacterio-

New Latin, from bacteria
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


What does bacterio- mean?

Bacterio- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “bacteria,” microscopic single-celled organisms. It is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology and pathology.

Bacterio- comes from Greek baktḗria, meaning “staff, cane.” Discover how the word for “staff” came to denote microorganisms at our entry for bacterium.

What are variants of bacterio-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, bacterio- becomes bacteri-, as in bactericide, or bacter-, as in bacterin. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use bacter– and bacteri– articles.

From a related Greek word, báktron, which means “stick,” English inherits the combining form -bacter. Want to learn more? Check out our Words That Use article for -bacter.

Related to both baktḗria and báktron is the Latin noun baculum, “staff,” which is the source of the combining form bacill-, which refers to a type of rod-shaped bacteria, and baguette, a rod-shaped loaf of bread.

Examples of bacterio-

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form bacterio- is bacteriology, “a branch of microbiology dealing with the identification, study, and cultivation of bacteria.”

We know bacterio- means “bacteria,” while the -logy portion of the word denotes an area of study or science, from Greek logía. Bacteriology literally means “the study of bacteria.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form -genic has a variety of meanings, including “produced or caused by.” With this in mind, what does bacteriogenic mean?

How to use bacterio- in a sentence

  • The presence of the same red pigment Bacterio-purpurin seemed justly to indicate the existence of common chemical processes.