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variant of gluco- before a vowel: glucide.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does gluc- mean?

Gluc- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “sugar” or “glucose and its derivatives.” Glucose is a sugar found in many fruits, animal tissues and fluids, and other sources. Gluc- is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in chemistry.

Gluc- comes from Greek glykýs, meaning “sweet.” While the Greek letter upsilon is usually transliterated into English as y, it is occasionally adapted as u, as we can see with gluc-. The Latin translation (and perhaps cognate) of glykýs is dulcis, “sweet,” which is the source of sweetness-related terms such as dulcet and, through Italian, dolce vita. To learn more, check out our entries for both words.

What are variants of gluc-?

Gluc- is a variant of gluco-, which loses its -o- when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

More common variants of gluc- are glyco- and glyc-, as in glycogenetic and glycol.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles about gluco-, glyco-, and glyc-.

Examples of gluc-

One example of a scientific term that features gluc- is glucide, “any of various organic compounds that consist of or contain a carbohydrate.”

We know that gluc- refers to “sugar,” but what about the -ide part of the word? The suffix -ide, derived from the word oxide, is used to denote the name of chemical compounds. Glucide literally translates to “a chemical compound of sugar.”

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

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

Break it down!

The Greek participle ágōn means “leading” or, by extension, “bringing.” With this in mind, what does glucagon literally mean?