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gymn-

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

WORDS THAT USE GYMN-

What does gymn- mean?

Gymn- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “naked,” “bare,” “exposed.” It is used in some scientific terms, especially in botany and zoology.

Gymn- comes from the Greek gymnós, meaning “naked” and “bare.” This root is related to the word gymnasium (gym for short), which is ultimately from the Greek gymnázein, meaning “to train in the nude.” Let’s hear it for workout clothes, huh?

There are a number of other words that begin with gymn-, such as gymnast and gymnastics, that are related to the combining form gymn- but are not using those exact letters to mean “naked.”

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

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use gymno- article.

Examples of gymn-

An example of a term from botany that features the combining form gymn- is gymnanthous, also known as achlamydeous, referring to plants whose flowers do not have a calyx or corolla (no sepals or petals). Examples of gymanthous flowers are catkins.

The first part of the word, gymn-, means “naked.” The -anthous portion of the word is a combining form meaning “having flowers.” Gymnanthous literally translates to “having naked flowers.”

What are some words that use or are related to the combining form gymn-?

  • Gymnadenia
  • gymnaxony
  • gymnite
  • gymnotus

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

Break it down!

Gymnadenia is a genus of plants in the orchid family. Given that the -adenia part of the word means “gland” (see adeno), what does Gymnadenia literally translate to?

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