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a combining form representing muscle in compound words: musculoskeletal.
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Origin of musculo-

<Latin mūscul(us) muscle + -o-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does musculo- mean?

Musculo– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “muscle.” It is occasionally used in medical terms, especially in anatomy.

Musculo– comes from Latin mūsculus, meaning “muscle.” However, the literal meaning of mūsculus is “little mouse”; the term is a diminutive of mūs “mouse,” which is also the source of murine, which refers to a subfamily of rodents. To learn more, read our entry for murine.

What are variants of musculo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, musculo– becomes muscul-, as in muscular.

Examples of musculo-

One example of a medical term that uses musculo– is musculotropic, “of, affecting, acting upon, or attracted to muscular tissue.”

While musculo– means “muscle,” the tropic portion of the word refers to “having an affinity for,” from Greek trópos, meaning “turn.” Musculotropic literally translates to “having an affinity for muscle.”

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

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

Break it down!

The word skeletal means “of, relating to, or like a skeleton.” With this in mind, what is the musculoskeletal system?

How to use musculo- in a sentence