• synonyms


[kee-moh, kem-oh]
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noun, plural che·mos. Informal.
  1. chemotherapy or a chemotherapy treatment.
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Origin of chemo

by shortening; see -o


  1. a combining form with the meanings “chemical,” “chemically induced,” “chemistry,” used in the formation of compound words: chemotherapy.
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Also especially before elements of Latin origin, chemi-.Also especially before a vowel, chem-.

Origin of chemo-

chem-, extracted from chemical or chemistry + -o- or -i-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for chemo


  1. informal short for chemotherapy
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chemi- or before a vowel chem-

combining form
  1. indicating that chemicals or chemical reactions are involvedchemotherapy
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Word Origin

New Latin, from Late Greek khēmeia; see alchemy
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 chemo


before vowels chem-, word-forming element denoting "relation to chemical action or chemicals," from comb. form of chemical (adj.), used to form scientific compound words from c.1900.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chemo in Medicine


  1. Chemotherapy or a chemotherapeutic treatment.
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  1. Chemicals; chemical:chemotherapy.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.