Save This Word!

variant of nephro- before a vowel: nephralgia.



Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does nephr- mean?

Nephr- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “kidney.” It is often used in medical terms, especially in anatomy and pathology.

Nephr- comes from the Greek nephrós, meaning “kidney, kidneys.” The Latin word for kidney is rēnēs, yielding such English words as renal.

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

Examples of nephr-

An example of a word you may have encountered that features nephr- is nephrectomy.

Nephr-, as we’ve seen, means “kidney.” The combining form -ectomy means “excision.” So, nephrectomy literally translates to “excision of the kidney.” During a nephrectomy, a surgeon removes one or both of the kidneys.

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

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


Be mindful that many other words begin with neph- but aren’t using the full combining form nephr- to denote “kidneys,” such as nephew or nephanalysis. Discover the connection between nephew and nepotism at our entries for the words.

Break it down!

Put your knowledge of the meaning of nephr- to the test! The combining form itis means “inflammation.” With that in mind, what does the condition nephritis involve?

Medical definitions for nephr-



Variant ofnephro-
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Tired of Typos? Get Help Now!