Save This Word!

Chiefly British.
variant of hema-: haemachrome.
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does haema- mean?

Haema- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “blood.” It is used in some medical terms, especially in pathology.

Haema- comes from the Greek haîma, meaning “blood.”

Chiefly used in British English, the combining form haema- is a variant of hema-, itself a rare variant of hemo- before a vowel.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use hema- and hemo- articles. 

Historically, haema- has been written as hæma-, featuring a ligature of the a and e.

Other variants of haema- used like hemo- are hem-, hemat-, and hemato-. As with haema-, all of these combining forms are often spelled with an additional a in British English, as in haem-, haemo-, haemat-, and haemato-.

Also closely related to haema- are -aemia, -emia, -haemia, and -hemia, which are combined to the ends of words to denote blood conditions.

You can learn all about the specific applications for each of these forms at our Words That Use articles for them.

Examples of haema-

One example of a medical term that features the combining form haema- is haemacytometer, also known as a hemocytometer, meaning “an instrument for counting blood cells.”

The haema- part of haemacytometer means “blood.” The second part of the word, cyto-, is a combining form that means “cell.” The final part of the word, -meter, means “measure.” Haemacytometer literally translates to “blood cell measurer.” (A haemocyte is a technical term for a blood cell.)

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

  • haemachromatosis
  • haemafibrite
  • haematherm

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

Break it down!

The combining form -therm means “hot, heat.” An animal described as a haematherm would be:

A. cold-blooded

B. warm-blooded

British Dictionary definitions for haema-


combining form
a variant of haemo- Also (US): hema-
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

Medical definitions for haema-


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