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a combining form meaning “yellow,” used in the formation of compound words (flavopurpurin); in some biochemical terms, specialized in meaning to indicate flavin (flavoprotein).
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Also especially before a vowel, flav-.

Origin of flavo-

<Latin flāv(us) yellow, blonde + -o-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does flavo- mean?

Flavo- is a combining form used like a prefix typically meaning “yellow.” When used in biochemistry terms, flavo- means “flavin,” a pale yellow chemical compound found in a variety of biological substances, like vitamins.

Flavo- comes from Latin flāvus, meaning “yellow” or “blonde.” The Greek equivalent of flāvus is xanthós, “yellow.” To learn more, read our Words That Use articles on xanth- and xantho-.

What are variants of flavo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, flavo- becomes flav-, as in flavin. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use flav- article.

Examples of flavo-

One example of a scientific term that features the form flavo- is flavobacteria, “rod-shaped, anaerobic bacteria of the genus Flavobacterium.”

The form flavo- means “yellow,” while -bacteria means, well, “bacteria.” Flavobacteria literally translates to “yellow bacteria.” The name refers to the way this bacteria produces yellow pigments. Find out more at our entry for Flavobacterium.

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

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

Not every word that begins with the exact letters flavo-, such as flavor, is necessarily using the combining form flavo- to denote “yellow.” Learn why flavor means “taste” at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The chemical compound flavoprotein was first discovered after it separated from cow’s milk. Keeping in mind the meaning flavo-, what color is this separated substance?

How to use flavo- in a sentence

Medical definitions for flavo-


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