1. a combining form meaning “monster,” used in the formation of compound words:


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Word History and Origins

Origin of terato-1

< Greek terat- (stem of téras ) monster, marvel + -o-


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Words That Use Terato-

What does terato- mean?

Terato- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “monster.” It is used in some scientific and medical terms, including in pathology and to indicate something especially unusual or abnormal in size, composition, or appearance.

Terato- comes from the Greek téras, meaning “monster, marvel.” The combining form tera-, as in terabyte, shares the same Greek root. Learn more in our Words That Use article for the form.

What are variants of terato-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, terato- becomes terat-, as in teratoma.

Examples of terato-

One example of a scientific term that features the combining form terato- is teratology, “the science or study of monstrosities or abnormal formations in organisms.”

The first part of the word, terato-, means “monster,” as we have seen. So, what about the -logy portion of the word? It is often used to name sciences, bodies of knowledge, and areas of study. Teratology literally translates to “study of monsters.”

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

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

Break it down!

Teratophobia is the fear (-phobia) of giving birth to what, generally speaking?