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a combination of -cide and -al1 found on adjectives that correspond to nouns ending in -cide: homicidal.
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Origin of -cidal

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -cidal mean?

The combining formcidal is used like a suffix meaning “of or relating to killers or the act of killing.” It is often used in a variety of scientific and technical terms.

The form –cidal is a combination of two combining forms. The first form is cide, ultimately from Latin caedere, meaning “to kill, to strike down.” The second is al, from Latin –ālis, which is a suffix used to mean “of the kind of, pertaining to, having the form or character of.”

What are variants of –cidal?

While –cidal does not have any variants, it is related to the combining form cide, as in patricide. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article on –cide.

Examples of -cidal

One example of a scientific term that features the form –cidal is biocidal, “of or relating to an agent that is destructive to living organisms.”

As you may have guessed, the combining form bio means “life,” from Greek bíos. The –cidal portion of the word means “of or relating to killers.” Biocidal literally translates to “of or relating to life killers.”

What are some words that use or are related to the combining form –cidal?

What are some other forms that –cidal may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form patri means “father.” With this in mind, what does the term patricidal literally mean?