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Chiefly British.
variant of hemo-: haemoglobin.
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What does haemo- mean?

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

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

The combining form haemo- is a variant of hemo- and is chiefly used in British English.

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

Historically, haemo- has been written as hæmo-, featuring a ligature of the a and e.

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

Also closely related to haemo- 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 haemo-

An example of a medical term that you may have encountered that features the combining form haemo- is haemocyte, meaning “blood cell.”

The haemo- part of haemocyte means “blood.” The second part of the word, -cyte, is a combining form that means “cell.” Haemocyte literally translates to “blood cell.”

And a haemorrhage, from the Greek haimorrhagía, is “a profuse discharge of blood.” The -rhhage part of the word means “rupture, profuse discharge, abnormal flow.” So, haemorrhage is literally an “abnormal flow of blood.”

Finally, you’ve probably heard of (and hopefully haven’t gotten) haemorrhoids, abnormally large veins in the anorectal area. It comes from the Greek haimorroḯda, meaning “discharghing blood.”

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

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

Break it down!

Haemophilia is a genetic disorder that results in excessive bleeding from even slight injuries. Given -philia here denotes someone with a “tendency” or “affinity” for something, what does haemophilia literally mean?

How to use haemo- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for haemo-


haema- or before a vowel haem-

combining form
denoting bloodhaemophobia Also: haemato-, (US) hemo-, (US) hema-, (US) hem-

Word Origin for haemo-

from Greek haima 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

Medical definitions for haemo-


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