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a combining form representing spore in compound words: sporophyte.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does sporo- mean?

Sporo- 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.

Sporo- ultimately comes from the Greek sporá, meaning “sowing” and “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 sporo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, sporo- becomes spor-, as in sporangium.

When combined with words or word elements of Latin origin, sporo- becomes spori, as in sporiferous. When used at the end of a word, as a suffix, sporo- becomes -spore, as in teliospore.

A related adjectival form is -sporous, which means “having spores” or “full of spores.”

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

Examples of sporo-

An example of a term from biology that features sporo- is sporophyll, “a modified leaf that bears sporangia,” the case or sac in which spores are produced.

The first portion of the word sporo- means “spore,” as we have seen. The -phyll portion of the word may also seem familiar; it means “leaf,” from Greek phýllon. Sporophyll literally translates to “spore leaf.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form -cyte means “cell.” With this in mind, what part of a plant like liverwort is known as a sporocyte?

How to use sporo- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sporo-


before a vowel spor-

combining form
(in botany) sporesporophyte

Word Origin for sporo-

from New Latin spora
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 sporo-


The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.