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Chiefly British.
variant of hemato-: haematocyst.
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What does haemato- mean?

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

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

Chiefly used in British English, haemato- is a variant of hemato-, itself a variant of hemo- before a vowel. When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, haemato- becomes haemat-.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use haemat-, hemato-, and hemo- articles. 

Historically, haemato- has been written as hæmato-, featuring a ligature of the a and e.

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

Also closely related to haemato- 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 haemato-

One example of a term that features the combining form haemato- that you may have encountered is haematology, meaning “the study of the nature, function, and diseases of the blood and of blood-forming organs.”

The first part of the word, haemato-, means “blood.” The second combining form, -logy, is used to name branches of science, bodies or knowledge, and areas of study. Haematology literally translates to “the study of blood.”

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

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

Break it down!

Some organisms, like the vampire bat, are hematophagous. Given that the combining form -phagous means “eating, feeding on,” what does haematophagous mean?

British Dictionary definitions for haemato-


before a vowel haemat-

combining form
indicating bloodhaematolysis Also: haemo-, (US) hemato-, (US) hemat-

Word Origin for haemato-

from Greek haima, haimat- blood
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