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a combining form meaning “bird,” used in the formation of compound words: ornithology.
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Also especially before a vowel, ornith-.

Origin of ornitho-

Combining form representing Greek ornīth- (stem of órnīs) bird
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does ornitho- mean?

Ornitho- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “bird.” It is used in some scientific terms, especially in biology and zoology.

Ornitho- comes from the Greek órnīs, meaning “bird.”

What are variants of ornitho-

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, ornitho- becomes ornith-, as in ornithoid.

Examples of ornitho-

One example of a term that features the combining form ornitho- is ornithology, “the branch of zoology that deals with birds.” A bird expert is known as an ornithologist.

We know ornitho- means “bird,” so what does the -logy portion of the word mean? That’s right, -logy refers to “a field of study,” from the Greek lógos. Ornithology literally translates to “the study of birds.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form -philous means “liking” or “having an affinity for.” With this in mind, how are ornithophilous plants pollinated?

British Dictionary definitions for ornitho-


before a vowel ornith-

combining form
bird or birdsornithology; ornithomancy; ornithopter; ornithoscopy; ornithosis

Word Origin for ornitho-

from Greek ornis, ornith- bird
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