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urethro-

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a combining form representing urethra in compound words: urethroscope.
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Also especially before a vowel, urethr-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WORDS THAT USE URETHRO-

What does urethro- mean?

Urethro- is a combining form used like a prefix representing the word urethra, the tube that carries the urine from the bladder outside the body. In male organisms, the urethra also conveys sperm. Urethro- is used in many medical terms.

Urethro- comes from the Greek ourḗthra, from the verb oureîn, “to urinate.” This verb is also the source of the English ureter, a tube in the body that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder; combining forms representing ureter are uretero- and ureter-. Also ultimately deriving from the same root as urethra and ureter are the combining forms uro- and ur-, meaning “urine.”

What are variants of urethro-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, urethro- becomes urethr-, as in urethralgia.

Examples of urethro-

One example of a medical term that features the combining form urethro- is urethrotomy, “an operation to cut a stricture of the urethra.”

The first part of the word urethro- refers to the urethra, as we’ve seen. The -tomy portion of the word means “cutting, incision,” from the Greek -tomia. Urethrotomy literally translates to “urethra cutting.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form -scope means “an instrument for viewing.” What is the medical instrument known as the urethroscope used for?

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