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a combining form meaning “yellow,” used in the formation of compound words: xanthophyll.
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Also especially before a vowel, xanth-.

Origin of xantho-

Combining form of Greek xanthós yellow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does xantho- mean?

Xantho- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “yellow.” It is used in many medical and scientific terms.

In some instances, xantho- specifically represents the chemicals xanthine and xanthic acid.

Xantho- comes from the Greek xanthós, meaning “yellow.” Xanthan gum is a substance with a variety of applications, including as a food additive. It is a substance exuded by colonies of the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. The name of the genus, Xanthomonas, comes from the Greek xanthós (“yellow”) and monas (“entity”), a reference to the yellow color of the bacteria colonies.

What are variants of xantho-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, xantho- becomes xanth-, as in xanthene.

Examples of xantho-

Xanthophyll, also known as lutein, is a type of yellow-red alcohol found in the petals of marigold and certain other flowers, egg yolk, algae, and corpora lutea.

The xantho- portion of the word refers to “yellow.” The second portion of the word, -phyll, means “leaf.” Xanthophyll literally translates to “yellow leaf.”

Xanthophyll was formed in French using the equivalent form of xantho- in that language.

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form -derma is used to name skin disorders. What, generally speaking, does the medical condition xanthoderma involve?

British Dictionary definitions for xantho-


before a vowel xanth-

combining form
indicating yellowxanthophyll

Word Origin for xantho-

from Greek xanthos yellow
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 xantho-


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