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a combining form meaning “copper,” used in the formation of compound words: cupriferous.
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Also cupr-, cupro-.

Origin of cupri-

Combining form of Late Latin cuprumcopper1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does cupri- mean?

The combining form cupri- is used like a prefix meaning “copper.” It is very rarely used in scientific terms, especially in chemistry.

The form cupri- comes from Latin cuprum, meaning “copper.” Find out how copper is related to the name of the country Cyprus at our entry for copper. The Greek translation of cuprum is khalkós, “copper,” which is the source of the combining form chalco-, as in Chalcolithic. Check out our Words That Use article for chalco- for more info.

What are variants of cupri-?

The form cupri- is a variant of cupr-, which gains an -i- when combined with words or word elements beginning with -f-. When combined with words or word elements that begin with other consonants, cupr- becomes cupro-, as in cupronickel.  Want to know more? Check out our Words That Use articles for both forms.

Examples of cupri-

One of the only words that features this rare form is cupriferous, “containing or yielding copper.”

The form cupri- means “copper,” but what about the -ferous part of the word? The form -ferous, ultimately from the Latin suffix -fer, has a variety of meanings, including “containing,” “bearing,” or “yielding.” Cupriferous literally translates to “containing copper.”

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