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variant of nepho- before a vowel: nephanalysis.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does neph- mean?

Neph- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “cloud.” It is often used in atmospheric science, especially meteorology.

Neph- comes from the Greek néphos, meaning “a cloud, mass of clouds.”

Neph- is a variant of nepho-, which loses its -o- when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use nepho- article.

Examples of neph-

An example of a word you may have seen that features neph- is nephanalysis. That principally means “a map or chart showing the distribution of types and amounts of clouds and precipitation at a given time.”

Unless your head has been in the clouds so far, you know that the first half of the word, neph-, means “cloud.” The second part of the word is analysis, a method of studying something. So, a nephanalysis is an analysis—an examination—of the clouds and precipitation over an area at a given time.
Learn more about the many meanings of analysis at our entry for the word.

What are some other words that share a word element with neph-?


Even though it begins with the same letters, the word nephew does not use the combining form neph-. Learn what nephew is related to at our entry for this word.

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

Break it down!

In Greek mythology, Nephele was a nymph formed by the god Zeus to tempt a king named Ixion. Given the meaning of neph-, what substance was Nephele made of?

How to use neph- in a sentence