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a combining form meaning “wood,” used in the formation of compound words: ligniform.
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Also ligno-; especially before a vowel, lign-.

Origin of ligni-

<Latin, combining form representing lignum wood
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does ligni- mean?

Ligni– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “wood.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

Ligni– comes from Latin lignum, meaning “wood.” A Greek translation is hȳ́lē, meaning “wood” or “matter,” as in the substance of the universe, source of the combining form hylo. Another Greek-based combining form meaning “wood” is xylo. To learn more, check out our Words That Use article on the forms.

What are variants of ligni-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, ligni– becomes lign, as in lignin. In some instances, ligni– becomes ligno, as in lignocellulose. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles on lign– and ligno-.

Examples of ligni-

An example of a scientific term that features the form ligni– is ligniform, “having the form of wood.”

We know ligni– means “wood,” and the form portion of the word refers to “having the form of,” from Latin –fōrmis. Ligniform literally translates to “having the form of wood.”

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

What are some other forms that ligni– may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form vorous means “eating.” With this in mind, what does lignivorous literally mean?

How to use ligni- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ligni-


ligno- or before a vowel lign-

combining form
indicating woodlignocellulose

Word Origin for ligni-

from Latin lignum wood
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