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variant of cupri-: cupronickel.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does cupro- mean?

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

The form cupro- 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 cupro-?

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

Examples of cupro-

One of the only words that features this rare form is cupronickel, “any of various alloys of copper containing up to 40 percent nickel.”

The form cupro- means “copper,” while the -nickel part of the word refers to nickel, the hard, silvery-white metal. Cupronickel literally translates to “copper-nickel.”

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

  • cuproplumbite
  • cuprotungstite

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

Break it down!

The suffix -ite is used to name minerals, while magnes- is a combining form of the element magnesium. With this in mind, what kind of substance is cupromagnesite?

How to use cupro- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cupro-


cupri- or before a vowel cupr-

combining form
indicating coppercupronickel; cuprite

Word Origin for cupro-

from Latin cuprum
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