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variant of crystallo- before a vowel: crystallite.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does crystall- mean?

Crystall- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “crystal.” It is used in some scientific terms, especially in geology and mineralogy.

Crystall- comes from the Greek krýstallos, meaning “clear ice, rock crystal,” source of the word crystal, as you may have guessed.

But did you guess the following? The Greek krýstallos is related to krýos, meaning “ice cold” or “frost” and source of the combining form cryo-. Learn more in our Words That Use cryo- article.

Crystall- is a variant of crystallo-, which loses its –o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Another variant of crystallo- is crystalli-, as in crystalliferous.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use crystallo- and crystalli- articles.

Examples of crystall-

You may be familiar with the word crystallize, which means “to form into crystals.” By metaphorical extension, crystallize is also a verb meaning “to give definite or concrete form to” something, as in crystallizing idea.

The first part of the word, crystall-, means “crystal.” The second part of the word, the suffix -ize, is used to form verbs, including with the general sense of “to render, make.” So, crystallize literally translates “to make (into) crystals.”

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

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

Break it down!

You may be familiar with the suffix -oid, meaning “resembling, like.” Given the meaning of crystal-, what does something crystalloid resemble?

How to use crystall- in a sentence