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a combining form meaning “eye,” “ocular,” used in the formation of compound words: oculomotor.
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Also especially before a vowel, ocul-.

Origin of oculo-

Combining form of Latin oculuseye; see -o-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does oculo- mean?

Oculo- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “eye” or “ocular,” a term that means “of or relating to the eye.” It is used in some medical terms, especially in anatomy and pathology.

Oculo- comes from the Latin oculus, meaning “eye.” See more about oculus at our entry for the word. The Greek word for “eye” is ophthalmós, source of the combining form ophthalmo-. Related to ophthalmós is ṓps, Greek for “eye” or “face,” and source of such combining forms as -opia, -opsia, and opto-.

What are variants of oculo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, oculo- becomes ocul-, as in oculist.

Examples of oculo-

One example of a medical term that features the combining form oculo- is oculomotor, “moving or tending to move the eyeball,” as in oculomotor muscles.

We know that oculo- means “eye.” The motor part of the word has a specific meaning in medical terms: it means “causing or producing motion,” especially used of nerves and muscles. So, oculomotor has a literal sense of “making the eye move.”

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

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

Break it down!

The word nasal means “of or relating to the nose.” With this in mind, what parts of the body does something oculonasal involve?

How to use oculo- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for oculo-


sometimes before a vowel ocul-

combining form
indicating the eyeoculomotor

Word Origin for oculo-

from Latin oculus eye
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

Medical definitions for oculo-


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