Save This Word!

variant of leuko-.
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?
Also especially before a vowel, leuc-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does leuco- mean?

Leuco- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “white” or “white blood cell. It is often used in medical terms, especially in pathology.

Leuco- comes from the Greek leukós, meaning “white, bright.” One of the most familiar words related to leuco- is leukemia, sometimes spelled leucemia. Leukemia is any of the cancers of the bone marrow that prevent the normal manufacture of blood cells. The English word leukemia comes immediately from the German Leukämie, in turn based on the Greek leukós.

What are variants of leuco-?

A common spelling variant of leuco- is leuko-, as in leukoblast. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use leuko- article.

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, leuco- becomes leuc-, as in leucemia.

Examples of leuco-

The combining form leuco– is helpful for understanding the medical term leucoderma, also known as vitiligo, “a skin disorder characterized by smooth, white patches on various parts of the body, caused by the loss of the natural pigment.”

The form leuco- means “white.” As you may have suspected, the combining form derma means “skin,” particularly “skin disease.” Leucoderma literally translates to “white skin disease,” which refers to the white patches of the conditions.

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form penia means “lack, deficiency.” With this in mind, what does the medical condition leucopenia involve?

How to use leuco- in a sentence

  • I have been unable to find figures for the heat exchange during oxidation of leuco-dyes, but it is no doubt also small.

British Dictionary definitions for leuco-


leuko-, before a vowel leuc- or before a vowel leuk-

combining form
white or lacking colourleucocyte; leucorrhoea; leukaemia

Word Origin for leuco-

from Greek leukos white
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