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sapro-

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a combining form meaning “rotten,” used in the formation of compound words: saprogenic.
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Also especially before a vowel, sapr-.

Origin of sapro-

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

WORDS THAT USE SAPRO-

What does sapro- mean?

Sapro- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “rotten.” It is used in some scientific terms, especially in biology.

Sapro- comes from the Greek saprós, meaning “rotten, putrid.”

What are variants of sapro-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, sapro- becomes sapr-, as in sapremia.

Examples of sapro-

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form sapro- is saprophyte, also known as a saprobe. A saprophyte is a plant, fungus, or microorganism that lives on dead organic matter.

We know that sapro- means “rotten.” So, what about the phyte part of the word? It means “plant.” Saprophyte literally translates to “rotten plant”—that is, the organism eats decaying organic matter.

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form -troph refers to an organism with given nutritional requirements—that is, it feeds on certain things. Based on the meaning of sapro-, what does saprotroph eat?

British Dictionary definitions for sapro-

sapro-

before a vowel sapr-


combining form
indicating dead or decaying mattersaprogenic; saprolite

Word Origin for sapro-

from Greek sapros rotten
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 sapro-

sapro-

pref.
Decay; putrefaction; decomposition:saprogenic.
Dead or decaying organic material:saprophyte.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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