a combining form meaning “gold,” used in the formation of compound words: chrysolite.



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Also especially before a vowel, chrys-.

Origin of chryso-

combining form of Greek chrȳsós Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What does chryso- mean?

Chryso- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “gold” and sometimes applied to various greenish hues. It is often used in medical and scientific terms, including in mineralogy.

Chryso- comes from the Greek chrȳsós, meaning “gold.” The Greek chrȳsós also helped form the chrȳsallís, source of the word chrysalis. A chrysalis is the hard-shelled pupa of a moth or butterfly, so named because some pupae can have a goldish sheen.

What are variants of chryso-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, chryso- becomes chrys-, as in chryselephantine.

Examples of chryso-

An example of a scientific term that uses the combining form chryso- is chrysolite, an olive-green mineral also known as olivine.

As we know, chryso- means “gold.” What about lite? It comes from the Greek líthos, meaning “stone.” Ultimately coming into English from the Greek chrȳsólithos, chrysolite literally translates to “gold stone,” a reference to the mineral’s grayish green hue.

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

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

Break it down!

A chrysophyte is a type of algae. Based on the meaning of chryso-, what color can chrysophytes be?

British Dictionary definitions for chryso-


before a vowel chrys-

combining form

indicating gold or the colour of goldchryselephantine; chrysolite

Word Origin for chryso-

from Greek khrusos gold
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

Medical definitions for chryso-



Gold; golden:chrysotherapy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.