Centi- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “hundredth” or “hundred.” In science, centi- is very commonly used as a prefix in units of measure equaling a factor of “one hundredth.”
Centi- comes from the Latin centum, meaning “hundred.” The word cent, as in a hundredth of a dollar and also known as a penny, ultimately comes from this same Latin root, as does percent. The Greek word for “hundred” is hekatón, source of the combining forms hecto-, hect-, hekto-, and hekt-, which you can learn more about in our Words That Use articles for the forms.
What are variants of centi-?
When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, centi- becomes cent-, as in centare.
Examples of centi-
One example of a term featuring centi- that you may have encountered is centimeter, “one 100th of a meter.”
The centi- part of the word here means “hundredth,” as used in units of measure. The -meter part in this word refers to meter, “the fundamental unit of length in the metric system.” Centimeter literally means “a hundredth of a meter.”
Centimeter comes from the French centimètre, which uses the equivalent form of centi- in the language.
What are some words that use the combining form centi-?
Most of the following forms feature the equivalent forms of centi- in French or Latin.