Dictionary.com

spermo-

Save This Word!

a combining form of sperm1, used also with the meaning “seed,” “germ,” “semen,” in the formation of compound words: spermophyte.
QUIZ
TEST YOUR MERIT ON THESE NEW WORDS IN 2021
The Dictionary added new words and definition to our vast collection, and we want to see how well-versed you are in the formally recognized new lingo. Take the quiz!
Question 1 of 8
What does JEDI stand for?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Also especially before a vowel, sperm-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE SPERMO-

What does spermo- mean?

Spermo- is a combining form used like a prefix representing “sperm.” Sperm are the reproductive cells contained in semen. Spermo- means “sperm” both literally and figuratively, as in “germ” or “seed.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

Spermo- comes from the Greek spérma, meaning “seed.”

What are variants of spermo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, spermo- becomes sperm-, as in spermous.

The forms spermi- and spermato- are also combining forms from Greek spérma that are variously used to mean “sperm” or “seed.”

Related combining forms used as suffixes include -sperm, -spermal, -spermic, and -spermous.

Want to learn more? Check out our Words That Use entries for each of these seven forms.

Examples of spermo-

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form spermo- is spermophile, “any of various burrowing rodents of the squirrel family.”

One of the various meanings of spermo- is “seed,” while the combining form -phile means “lover of” or “enthusiast for.” Spermophile literally translates to “lover of seeds,” an accurate description of acorn-burying squirrels.

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

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

Break it down!

A synonym for toxin is “poison.” With this in mind, what bodily substance does a spermotoxin poison?

FEEDBACK