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pycn-

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variant of pycno- before a vowel: pycnium.

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE PYCN-

What does pycn- mean?

Pycn- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “thick,” “dense,” or “compact.” It is used in some medical and scientific terms.

Pycn- comes from the Greek pyknós, meaning “thick, dense, closely packed.”

Pycn- is a variant of pycno-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

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

The combining form pycn- is commonly spelled with a –k-, pykn-, as in pyknosis.

Examples of pycn-

An example of a scientific term related to the combining form pycn- is pycnium. A pycnium is the spore-producing sac of a type of fungus that develops under the outermost layer of its host.

The first part of the word, pycn-, means “dense.” The suffix -ium can indicate a biological structure. Pycnium, then, literally describes this fungal structure developed in “closely packed” clusters.

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

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

Break it down!

Pycnaspidean is a rare term in ornithology (the study of birds) that refers to scales on the back of its legs. Based on the meaning of pycn-, how are these scales grouped?

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