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a combining form meaning “tissue,” used in the formation of compound words: histology.
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Also especially before a vowel, hist-.

Origin of histo-

<Greek, combining form of histós web (of a loom), tissue
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does histo- mean?

The combining form histo- is used like a prefix meaning “tissue.” It is often used in medical terms, especially in anatomy and pathology.

The form histo- comes from Greek histós, meaning “web (of a loom)” or “tissue.”

What are variants of histo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, histo- becomes hist-, as in histoid. In some rare instances, histo- becomes histio-, as in histioblast. Want to know more? Check out our Words That Use articles for hist- and histio-.

Examples of histo-

One example of a term from medicine that features the form histo- is histology, the branch of biology dealing with the study of tissues.

While histo- means “tissue,” the -logy portion refers to “study,” from Greek logía. Histology literally translates to “the study of tissue.”

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

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

The word history and related terms begin with the letters histo- but do not use histo- as a combining form. Find out why history comes from the Greek word for “one who knows and sees” at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The combining form -cyte means “cell.” With this in mind, what does the scientific term histocyte mean?

How to use histo- in a sentence

  • Histo-research in bringing its time bubble back from the past got overzealous and cut the circuit too quickly.

    The Variable Man|Philip K. Dick
  • Histo-research regrets this incident, but attributes it to the emergency.

    The Variable Man|Philip K. Dick

British Dictionary definitions for histo-


before a vowel hist-

combining form
indicating animal or plant tissuehistology; histamine

Word Origin for histo-

from Greek, from histos web
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 histo-


Body tissue:histogenesis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.