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a combining form meaning “vein,” used in the formation of compound words: phlebosclerosis.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Also especially before a vowel, phleb-.

Origin of phlebo-

<Greek, combining form of phléps vein
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does phlebo- mean?

Phlebo- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “vein.” It is often used in medical terms, especially in pathology and anatomy.

Phlebo- comes from the Greek phléps, meaning “vein.” The Latin word for “vein” is vēna, source of the combining forms veno-, ven-, veni-, and vene-, which you can learn more about at our Words That Use articles for the forms.

What are variants of phlebo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, phlebo- becomes phleb-, as in phlebectomy.

Examples of phlebo-

An example of a word you may have encountered that features phlebo- is phlebotomy, “the act or practice of opening a vein for letting or drawing blood as a therapeutic or diagnostic measure; venesection; bleeding.” A specialist in this is known as a phlebotomist.

We know phlebo- means “vein,” so what about the -tomy portion of the word? That’s right, -tomy refers to “cutting, incision,” from the Greek -tomia. Phlebotomy literally translates to “vein incision.”

Phlebotomy ultimately comes from a Greek word that uses the equivalent form of phlebo- in the language.

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form -plasty has various meanings including “surgical repair.” What does the medical procedure of phleboplasty involve?

British Dictionary definitions for phlebo-


before a vowel phleb-

combining form

indicating a veinphlebotomy

Word Origin for phlebo-

from Greek phleps, phleb- vein
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 phlebo-



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