before a vowel cerat-

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combining form
denoting horn or a hornlike partceratodus
anatomy denoting the cornea
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Also: kerato-

Word Origin for cerato-

from Greek kerat-, keras horn
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 cerato- mean?

Cerato- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “horn” or “cornea.” The cornea is the transparent front part of the eyeball. It is used in some scientific and medical terms, including in ophthalmology and dermatology.

Cerato- comes from the Greek kéras, meaning “horn.” The Latin cousin to kéras is cornū, source of corneus, literally “horn-y.” The term cornea comes from the Latin phrase cornea tēla, meaning “horn-y web,” i.e., “hornlike tissue.”

Another word related to this Greek root is karat, or carat, which is a unit of weight for gemstones. It ultimately comes from the Greek word for “little horn.”

What are variants of cerato-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, cerato- becomes cerat-, as in ceratopsian, which uses the equivalent combining form of cerato- in New Latin.

Cerato- and cerat- can also be spelled with an initial k-, becoming kerat- or kerato-, as in keratoid or ceratoid. Note that variants spelled with c- are pronounced with a soft c sound, e.g., [ seruh-toid ]. Learn more at our Words That Use articles for the forms.

Examples of cerato-

The ceratosaur was a carnivorous, swift-running North American theropod dinosaur of the Jurassic Period. It had a large skull with a short horn between the nostrils and a bony knob in front of each eye.

As we now know, cerato- means “horn.” What about the –saur part of the word? It is used to name dinosaurs, from the Greek saûros meaning “lizard.” Ceratosaur literally translates to “horned lizard.”

Ceratosaur comes from New Latin and uses the equivalent form of cerato- in the language.

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

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

Not all words beginning with the letters cerat- are using the combining form cerato- to mean “horn” or “cornea.” One example is cerate. Find out how cerate is connected to wax at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The combining form -phyte means “plant.” A ceratophyte is a type of coral polyp. What does its name literally translate to?

How to use cerato- in a sentence

Medical definitions for cerato-


Variant ofkerato-
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.