a combining form meaning “black,” used in the formation of compound words: melanocyte.

Nearby words

  1. melanion,
  2. melanippus,
  3. melanism,
  4. melanite,
  5. melanitic,
  6. melanoameloblastoma,
  7. melanoblast,
  8. melanoblastoma,
  9. melanocarcinoma,
  10. melanochroi

Also especially before a vowel, melan-.

Origin of melano-

< Greek, combining form of mélās Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for melano-


before a vowel melan-

combining form

black or darkmelanin; melanism; melanocyte; melanoma

Word Origin for melano-

from Greek melas black

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

Word Origin and History for melano-


word-forming element meaning "black," from Greek melano-, comb. form of melas (genitive melanos) "black, dark, murky" (see melanin).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for melano-



Black; dark:melanin.

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