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osteo-

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a combining form meaning “bone,” used in the formation of compound words: osteometry.
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Also especially before a vowel, oste-.

Origin of osteo-

<Greek, combining form of ostéon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

WORDS THAT USE OSTEO-

What does osteo- mean?

Osteo- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “bone.” It is often used in medical terms, especially in anatomy.

Osteo- comes from the Greek ostéon, meaning “bone.”

What are variants of osteo-?

When combined with words or word elements forms that begin with a vowel, osteo- becomes oste-, as in osteitis.

Examples of osteo-

An example of a word you may have encountered that features osteo- is osteology, which is the branch of anatomy dealing with—you guessed it—the skeleton.

We know osteo- means “bone.” And -(o)logy? That means “study of,” ultimately from the Greek lógos, meaning “word,” among many other senses. Osteology, then, literally translates to “the study of bones.”

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

What are some other forms that osteo– may be commonly confused with?

Despite appearances, the word ostentatious, meaning “characterized by pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others,” does not use the Greek root osteo-. Learn where ostentatious comes from at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

Given that osteo- means “bone” and dystrophy means “faulty or inadequate development,” then what is osteodystrophy?

How to use osteo- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for osteo-

osteo-

before a vowel oste-


combining form
indicating bone or bonesosteopathy

Word Origin for osteo-

from Greek osteon
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
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