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variant of hemo-: hemacytometer.
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Also especially British, haema-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does hema- mean?

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

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

Hema- is a rare variant of hemo-. The spelling haema- is chiefly used in British English.

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

Hema- and haema- are two of the many variants of the combining form hemo-. Others are hem-, hemato-, and hemat-.

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-. Historically, these forms have been spelled with a ligature of the a and e, as in hæma-.

Also closely related to hema- 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 hema-

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

The hema- part of hemacytometer 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.” Hemacytometer literally translates to “blood cell measurer.” (A hemocyte is a technical term for a blood cell.)

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

  • hemachromatosis
  • hemafibrite
  • hematherm

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

Break it down!

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

A. cold-blooded

B. warm-blooded

How to use hema- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hema-


combining form
a US variant of haemo-
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 hema-


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