1. a combining form meaning “bad,” occurring in loanwords from Greek (cacodemon); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (cacogenics).
Also especially before a vowel, cac-.

Origin of caco-

< Greek, combining form of kakós Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for caco-


combining form
  1. bad, unpleasant, or incorrectcacophony

Word Origin for caco-

from Greek kakos bad
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

Word Origin and History for caco-

before vowels cac-, word-forming element meaning "bad, ill, poor" (e.g. cacography, the opposite of calligraphy), from Latinized form of Greek kako- a hard-working prefix in ancient Greek, from kakos "bad, evil," considered by etymologists probably to be connected with PIE *kakka- "to defecate" (see caca).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

caco- in Medicine


  1. Bad:cacogeusia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.