[ lith-oh ]
/ ˈlɪθ oʊ /
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noun, plural lith·os.


verb (used with object), lith·oed, lith·o·ing.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
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The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of litho

Shortened form

Definition 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

Definition for litho (3 of 3)


or lithog


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


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?

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

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

Medical definitions for litho



Mineral concretion; calculus:lithotomy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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