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variant of cyto- as final element in a compound word: leucocyte.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -cyte mean?

The combining form -cyte is used like a suffix meaning “cell.” It is often used in medical and scientific terms, especially to name different types of cells.

The form -cyte comes from the Greek kýtos, meaning “container,” “receptacle,” “body.”

A corresponding form of -cyte combined to the beginning of words is cyto-, which you can learn more about at our Words That Use article for the form.

Examples of -cyte

One example of a medical term that features the combining form -cyte is hemocyte, “a blood cell.”

The first part of the word, hemo-, means “blood.” As we’ve seen, -cyte means “cell.” Hemocyte literally translates to, well, “blood cell.”

A leukocyte is a white blood cell (leuko- meaning “white”). An erythrocyte is a red blood cell (erythro- meaning “red”).

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form hepato- refers to the liver. What is a hepatocyte?

How to use -cyte in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -cyte


n combining form
indicating a cellspermatocyte

Word Origin for -cyte

from New Latin -cyta, from Greek kutos container, body, hollow vessel
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 -cyte


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