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



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Also especially before a vowel, neph-.

Origin of nepho-

<Greek néphos a cloud, mass of clouds; see nebula
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does nepho- mean?

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

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

What are variants of nepho-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, nepho- becomes neph, as in nephanalysis.

Examples of nepho-

An example of a word you may have come across that features nepho- is nephology. Nepho-, as we’ve seen, means “cloud,” as we’ve seen. The logy part probably looks more familiar, and refers to “the names of sciences or bodies of knowledge.” Nephology, then, is literally “the study of clouds.” What a lofty word!

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

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

Break it down!

Telescope, microscope, stethoscopenephoscope? The combining form -scope means “an instrument for viewing.” What, then, is a nephoscope?

British Dictionary definitions for nepho-


combining form

concerning cloud or clouds

Word Origin for nepho-

from Greek nephos cloud
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