a combining form meaning “alien,” “strange,” “guest,” used in the formation of compound words: xenogamy, xenolith.

Nearby words

  1. xebec,
  2. xenakis,
  3. xenia,
  4. xenic acid,
  5. xenical,
  6. xenobiotic,
  7. xenoblast,
  8. xenocrates,
  9. xenocratic,
  10. xenocryst

Also especially before a vowel, xen-.

Origin of xeno-

combining form of Greek xénos stranger, guest (noun); alien, foreign, strange (adj.)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for xeno-


before a vowel xen-

combining form

indicating something strange, different, or foreignxenogamy

Word Origin for xeno-

from Greek xenos strange

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

Word Origin and History for xeno-


before vowels, xen-, word-forming element meaning "strange, foreign; stranger, foreigner," from Greek xeno-, comb. form of xenos "a guest, stranger, foreigner" (see guest (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for xeno-



Stranger; foreigner:xenophobia.
Strange; foreign; different:xenophthalmia.

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