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variant of cardio- before a vowel: cardialgia.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does cardi- mean?

Cardi- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “heart.” It is often used in medical and scientific terms.

Cardi- comes from the Greek kardía, meaning “heart.” In fact, the English word heart and the Greek kardía are related. Learn more at our entry for heart.

And no, the artist Cardi B did not get her name from cardi-; Cardi B is a nickname based on Bacardi, a popular brand of rum.

Cardi- is a variant of cardio-, which loses its -o- when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use cardio- article.

Examples of cardi-

A term you may be familiar with that features the combining form cardi- is cardialgia, a medical term for heartburn.

As we have seen, cardi- means “heart.” The second portion of the word, -algia, comes from the Greek álgos, meaning “pain.” Cardialgia translates literally to “heart pain.”

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

Not every word that begins cardi- is related to this combining form. The word cardinal, for instance, comes from the Latin cardinalis, meaning “hinge.” The style of sweater known as a cardigan (“cardie,” for short) is named for the 7th Earl of Cardigan. Yep, the sweater is named after a British earl. Learn more at our origin section for cardigan.

Break it down!

Arrest can mean “abruptly stopping.” With this in mind, what happens during cardiac arrest?

How to use cardi- in a sentence

  • To compliment the occasion, Fallon went à mom too, cross-dressing in a long wig, khakis, and a pink cardi.

  • Farther Cardi knew quite well with what kind of penitent he had to deal.

    The Gadfly|E. L. Voynich
  • The expression of his face was so unutterably hopeless and weary that Father Cardi broke off suddenly.

    The Gadfly|E. L. Voynich
  • When he entered the seminary chapel on Thursday morning he found Father Cardi alone.

    The Gadfly|E. L. Voynich