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leuc-

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variant of leuco- before a vowel: leucemia.

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE LEUC-

What does leuc- mean?

Leuc- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “white” or “white blood cell.” It is often used in medical and scientific terms.

Leuc- comes from the Greek leukós, meaning “white, bright.”

Leuc- is a variant of leuco-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

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

Examples of leuc-

Leucemia, more commonly spelled leukemia, is one example of a medical term that is related to the combining form leuc-.

Leucemia is “any of several cancers of the bone marrow that prevent the normal manufacture of red and white blood cells and platelets, resulting in anemia, increased susceptibility to infection, and impaired blood clotting.”

The English words leucemia and leukemia come immediately from the German Leukämie, a term in turn based on the Greek leukós.

And what about the -emia portion of the leucemia? It is a combining form that denotes a condition of the blood, and ultimately comes, again through German, from the Greek root haîma, meaning “blood.” Hematology, the study of blood, is another word you may have come across that also comes from Greek.

So, putting it all back together, leucemia has the literal sense of “(disease of) white blood (cells).”

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

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

Break it down!

A leucoma is a kind of dense abnormality (-oma, “tumor, abnormal growth”) on the normally transparent cornea of the eye. Based on what leuc- means, what color is a leucoma?

  • The Thebans then marched forth to meet their foes; and the two armies met at Leuc´tra, a small town in Bœotia.

Medical definitions for leuc-

leuc-

pref.

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