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phyto-

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a combining form meaning “plant,” used in the formation of compound words: phytogenesis.
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Also -phyte.

Origin of phyto-

<Greek phyt(ón) a plant + -o-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE PHYTO-

What does phyto- mean?

Phyto- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “plant.” It is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

Phyto- comes from the Greek phytón, meaning “plant.”

The corresponding form of phyto- combined to the end of words is -phyte.

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

Examples of phyto-

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form phyto- is phytolith. A phytolith is “a microscopic silica body that forms in a living plant and becomes fossilized.”

The first part of the word, phyto-, means “plant.” The second half of the word, -lith, comes from the Greek líthos and means “stone.” Phytolith literally translates to “plant stone.”

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

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

The combining form phyto- should not be confused with the proper noun Phyto, which, alluding to phyto-’s meaning of “plant,” has been used as a brand or product name for hair and skin care products made from botanical extracts.

Break it down!

The combining form -logy is used to name sciences or bodies of knowledge. What is phytology?

British Dictionary definitions for phyto-

phyto-

before a vowel phyt-


combining form
indicating a plant or vegetationphytogenesis

Word Origin for phyto-

from Greek phuton plant, from phuein to make grow
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 phyto-

phyto-

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