[ lith-oh ]
/ ˈlɪθ oʊ /
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noun, plural lith·os.
verb (used with object), lith·oed, lith·o·ing.
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Origin of litho

Shortened form

Other definitions for litho (2 of 3)


a combining form meaning “stone,” used in the formation of compound words: lithography; lithonephrotomy.
Also especially before a vowel, lith-.

Origin of litho-

<Greek, combining form of líthos

Other definitions for litho (3 of 3)


or lithog

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does litho- mean?

Litho- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “stone.”

It is used in medicine, especially in pathology, and in science, especially in geology. In pathology terms, litho- specifically refers to a calculus, “a stone, or concretion, formed in the gallbladder, kidneys, or other parts of the body.” The word calculus itself literally means “little stone.”

Lithography, which uses the equivalent form of litho- in New Latin, is sometimes referred to as litho for short.

Litho- comes from the Greek líthos, meaning “stone.”

What are variants of litho-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, litho- becomes lith-, as in lithify.

The corresponding form of litho- combined to the end of words is -lith, as in nephrolith.

Examples of litho-

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form litho- is lithophyte, “a polyp with a hard or stony structure, such as a coral.” It can also refer to “any plant growing on the surface of rocks.”

As we know, litho- means “stone.” The -phyte portion of the word is a combining form that means “plant,” from the Greek phytón. Lithophyte literally translates to “stone plant.”

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

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

Not every word that begins with the exact letters lith- is necessarily using the combining forming litho- to denote “stone,” such as lithe. Learn the meaning and history of lithe at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The combining form -graphy is used to describe a process or form of drawing, writing, representing, recording, describing, etc.

With this in mind, what does the art form lithography prepare its images on?

How to use litho in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for litho (1 of 2)

/ (ˈlaɪθəʊ) /

noun, adjective, adverb plural -thos
short for lithography, lithograph, lithographic, or lithographicallySee lithograph (def. 1), lithography

British Dictionary definitions for litho (2 of 2)


before a vowel lith-

combining form

Word Origin for litho-

from Latin, from Greek, from lithos stone
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