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a combining form meaning “six,” used in the formation of compound words: hexapartite.
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Also especially before a vowel, hex-.

Origin of hexa-

Combining form representing Greek héxsix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does hexa- mean?

Hexa- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “six.” It is used in a great many scientific and other technical terms.

In chemistry, hexa- is specifically used to indicate six atoms or six groups of atoms in compounds, e.g., hexachloride.

Hexa- comes from the Greek héx, meaning “six.” The Latin for “six” is sex, source of the combining forms sex- and sexi-, which you can learn more about at our Words That Use articles for the terms. And we know what you’re thinking: the Latin sex has no relation to that common English meaning of sex.

What are variants of hexa-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, hexa- becomes hex-, as in hexose.

Examples of hexa-

A hexagon is “a polygon having six angles and six sides.” It’s also known as a nonagon.

The first part of the word, hexa-, means “six.” The -gon portion of the word may also look familiar: it is a combining form meaning “angled” or “angular,” from the Greek gōnía. Hexagon literally translates to “six-angled.”

Hexagon comes from the Greek hexágōnon, which features the equivalent form of hexa– in the language.

What are some words that use the combining form hexa- or hex-?

Hex, meaning “to bewitch” among other senses, doesn’t share a root with the combining form hexa- or hex-. Discover the witchy roots of hex at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The combining form -hedron means “face,” in the sense of a face of a geometrical solid figure, e.g., a pyramid has four faces. How many faces does a hexahedron have? Bonus: what’s another, more familiar name for a hexahedron?

How to use hexa- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hexa-


before a vowel hex-

combining form
sixhexachord; hexameter

Word Origin for hexa-

from Greek, from hex six
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