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variant of ventro- before a vowel.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does ventr- mean?

Ventr- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “abdomen.” It is sometimes used in medical and scientific terms.

Ventr- comes from the Latin venter, meaning “belly, womb.” Ever seen a ventriloquist make it seem like their dummy’s talking? Also rooted in the Latin venter, ventriloquist literally means “stomach talker.” Discover why at our entry for ventriloquist.

Ventr- is a variant of ventro-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Ventri- is another variant of ventro-.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use ventro- and Words That Use ventri- article.

Examples of ventr-

One word that features the combining form ventr- is the adverb ventrad, meaning “toward the ventral side, ventrally,” that is, towards the abdomen.

The first part of the word, ventr-, means “abdomen.” The second part of the word, -ad, here means “to, towards.” So, ventrad literally means ” to the abdomen.”

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




Though it starts with the letters ventr-, the word ventricle, referring especially to the lower chambers of the heart, doesn’t exactly use ventr- as a combining form. That said, ventricle still ultimately derives from the Latin word venter. The Latin word ventriculus literally means “little belly”—a good word for a ventricle or other such hollow organ or cavity.

Break it down!

As we saw above, ventrad is an adverb meaning “ventrally.” Ventral means “abdominal” or “situated toward the abdomen.”

Based on what you know about the combining form ventr- and related words like ventral and ventrad, where on a fish would you expect to find a ventral fin?

Medical definitions for ventr-


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