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a combining form representing sulfur in compound words: sulfarsphenamine.
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Also sulfo-; especially British, sulph-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does sulf- mean?

The combining form sulf- is used like a prefix meaning “sulfur,” a nonmetallic element known for its distinctive odor. This form is often used in scientific terms, especially in chemistry.

The form sulf- comes from Latin sulfur, meaning both “sulfur” and “brimstone.”

What are variants of sulf-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a consonant, sulf- becomes sulfo-, as in sulfocarbanilide. In British English, sulf- is spelled sulph- or sulpho-, as in sulphide. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles for these combining forms.

Examples of sulf-

One example of a scientific term that features the form sulf- is sulfide, “a compound of sulfur.”

The sulf- part of the word means “sulfur,” while the -ide portion is a suffix used to name chemical compounds. Sulfide literally means “sulfur compound.”

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

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

Break it down!

The suffix -ite is used to name chemical compounds that are the salts of acids. With this in mind, what is sulfite?

British Dictionary definitions for sulf-


combining form
a US variant of sulph-

undefined sulf-

See sulph-
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