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a combining form meaning “tooth,” used in the formation of compound words: odontology.
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Also especially before a vowel, odont- .
Compare -odont, -odus.

Origin of odonto-

<Greek odont-, stem of odoús or odṓn tooth + -o-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does odonto- mean?

Odonto- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “tooth.” It is frequently used in medical terms, especially in anatomy and pathology.

Odonto- comes from the Greek odṓn, meaning “tooth.” The Latin word for “tooth” is dēns, source of the combining forms denti- and dento-.

What are variants of odonto-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, odonto- becomes odont-, as in odontalgia.

Corresponding forms of odonto- combined to the end of words are -odont and -odus, which you can learn more about in our Words That Use articles for each form.

Examples of odonto-

One example of a term from medicine that features the combining form odonto- is odontology, “the science dealing with the study of the teeth and their surrounding tissues and with the prevention and cure of their diseases.”

Related to odontology, both as words and practices, are periodontics and orthodontics. Discover what makes these branches of dentistry distinct and how they are related to the combining for odonto- at our entries for the words.

The first part of the word, odonto-, means “tooth.” So, what about the logy part of the word? It comes from the Greek lógos and is used to name sciences or bodies of knowledge. Odontology literally translates to “the study of teeth.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form -tomy means “cutting, incision.” With this in mind, what does the dental procedure of an odontotomy involve?

How to use odonto- in a sentence

  • It fathers that celebrated "oriental herb" known as "Odonto."

    The Art of Perfumery|G. W. Septimus Piesse

British Dictionary definitions for odonto-


before a vowel odont-

combining form
indicating a tooth or teethodontology

Word Origin for odonto-

from Greek odōn tooth
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 odonto-


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