Save This Word!

a combining form meaning “dung,” used in the formation of compound words: coprophagous.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Also especially before a vowel, copr-.

Origin of copro-

<Greek kopro-, combining form of kópros; cognate with Sanskrit śakrt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does copro- mean?

Copro- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “dung,” “feces,” or “excrement.” That is, poop. It is used in technical terms, especially in biology, medicine, and psychiatry.

Copro- comes from the Greek kópros, meaning “dung.”

By extension, copro- can also indicate “obscenity” such as coprolalia, “excessive use of scatological language.” Scatological means “preoccupied with obscenity, especially in the form of references to excrement.” The combining form scato-, from another Greek root for “dung” (skôr), is used similarly to copro-.

What are variants of copro-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, copro- becomes copr-, as in copremesis.

Examples of copro-

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form copro– is coprology, also known as scatology, “the study of or preoccupation with excrement or obscenity.” The word can also refer to the study of fossil excrement.

The first part of the word, copro-, means “dung, excrement.” The second part of the word, -logy, indicates branches of science, bodies of knowledge, or areas of study. Coprology, then, literally translates to “the study of dung.” (Now you can go out there and impress your friends with this fun fact.)

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

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

Not every word that begins with the exact letters copro- is necessarily using the combining form copro- to denote “excrement.” Coprocessor and coproduce are two, very un-dung-y examples. Learn what these mean and where they come from at our entries for the words.

Break it down!

The combining form -phobia means “fear.” What does coprophobia involve?

British Dictionary definitions for copro-


before a vowel copr-

combining form
indicating dung or obscenitycoprology

Word Origin for copro-

from Greek kopros dung
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