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variant of sporo- before a vowel: sporangium.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does spor- mean?

Spor- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “spore.” Spore can have a variety of meanings, but in biology, it is used to refer to small organisms such as seeds or germ cells.

Spor- ultimately comes from the Greek sporá, meaning “sowing” or “seed.” Sporadic, meaning “occasional,” comes from the related Greek sporadikós. Find out what sporadic has to do with seeds at our entry.

What are variants of spor-?

Spor- is a variant of sporo-, which loses its –o- when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. When combined with words or word elements of Latin origin, spor- becomes spori-, as in sporiferous. When used at the end of a word, as a suffix, spor- becomes -spore, as in teliospore. A related adjectival form is -sporous, which means “having spores” or, literally, “full of spores.”

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles for spori-, sporo-, –spore and -sporous.

Examples of spor-

One example of a scientific term featuring spor- is sporont, “an encysted spore developed from a zygote.”

As we know, spior- means “spore,” but what about the -ont portion of the word? It means “being,” from Greek eînai, “to be,” and sporont literally translates to “spore being.”

What are some words that are related to the combining form spor-?

The following examples use the equivalent form of spor- in Latin.

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

Not all words that begin with the letters spor-, such as sporran and sport, are necessarily using spor- as a combining form to mean “spore.” Find out where these similarly spelled yet unrelated words come from at our entries for sporran and sport.

Break it down!

A sporangium is a part of a plant. The -angium portion of the word, which is a variant of the combining form angio-, comes from the Greek for “vessel” or “container.” With this in mind, what is a sporangium?

How to use spor- in a sentence