a combining form meaning “different,” “other,” used in the formation of compound words: heterocyclic.
Also especially before a vowel, heter-.

Origin of hetero-

combining form of Greek héteros the other of two, other, different
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British Dictionary definitions for hetero-


combining form

other, another, or differentheterodyne; heterophony; heterosexual Compare homo-

Word Origin for hetero-

from Greek heteros other
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 hetero-



Other; different:heterocellular.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for hetero-


A prefix that means “different” or “other,” as in heterophyllous, having different kinds of leaves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.