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silici-

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a combining form representing silicon in compound words: silicide.
a combining form representing silica in compound words: silicify.
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Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?
Also especially before a vowel, silic-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WORDS THAT USE SILICI-

What does silici- mean?

The combining form silici- is used like a prefix that has two distinct but related senses.

The first of these senses is “silicon.” Silicon is an abundant nonmetallic element  used in steelmaking and alloys. This form of silici- is rarely used in a variety of scientific and technical terms, particularly in chemistry.

The second of these senses is “silica.” Silica is “the dioxide form of silicon, SiO2, occurring especially as quartz sand, flint, and agate: used usually in the form of its prepared white powder chiefly in the manufacture of glass, water glass, ceramics, and abrasives.” This form of silici- is occasionally used in a variety of technical terms, particularly in mineralogy and geology.

The origins of both senses of this form are related. English silica, also known as silicon dioxide, comes from Latin silex, meaning “flint.” Silicon is a combination of silica and the suffix –on, which is used here to indicate a nonmetallic element, on the model of carbon. Essentially, silica is a chemical compound that includes silicon.

What are variants of silici-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, silici- becomes silic-, as in silicic.

Examples of silici- or silic- with the sense “silicon”

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form silic- to mean “silicon” is silicide, “a compound of two elements, one of which is silicon.”

The silic- part of the word means “silicon,” while -ide is a suffix used to name chemical compounds. Silicide literally translates to “chemical compound of silicon.”

What are some words that use the combining form silici- or silic-?

What are some other forms that silici- or silic- may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The suffix -ic means “of or relating to.” Given the meaning of silic-, what does the term from chemistry silicic mean?

Examples of silici- or silic- with the sense “silica”

One word that features the combining form silici- to mean “silica” is siliciferous, “containing, combined with, or producing silica.”

While silici- here stands for “silica,” the -ferous portion of the word has various meanings including “bearing,” “producing,” or “conveying.” Siliciferous literally translates to “producing silica.”

What are some words that use the combining form silici– or silic-?

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

Break it down!

The suffix -osis is used to denote disorders or abnormal states. With this in mind, what is the cause of silicosis, a lung disease often suffered by stonecutters?

British Dictionary definitions for silici-

silici-

before a vowel silic-


combining form
indicating silica or siliconsilicify
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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