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variant of orchido-.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does orchi- mean?

Orchi- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning either “testicle” (testis) or “orchid.” In medicine, it refers to testicles. In botany, it refers to orchid flowers.

Orchi- comes from the Greek órchis, meaning “testicle.” How did the Greek word for testicle give rise to the name of a type of beautiful flower? Well, the roots of orchids were thought to resemble testicles. Learn more at our entry for orchis.

Orchi- is a variant of orchido-. Other variants include orchid-, as in orchiditis, and orchio-, as in orchioplasty, is also used to represent “testicle” in medical terminology.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use orchido- article.

Examples of orchi-

One example of a medical term that uses the combining form orchi- is orchiectomy, also known as orchidectomy, meaning “excision of one or both testes.” It’s another word for castration.

The first part of the word, orchi-, means “testicle.” The second combining form, -ectomy, means “excision.” Orchiectomy literally translates to “testicle excision.”

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

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

The word orchestra, despite beginning with the letters orch-, is not related to the combining form orchi-. Learn more about the Greek origins of this musical term at our entry for the word.

Nor is the word orchil, “a violet coloring matter obtained from certain lichens,” related to the combining form orchi-. The term was borrowed into English from Old French.

Break it down!

The combining form algia means “pain.” What does the medical condition of orchialgia involve?