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a combining form meaning “irregular enlargement” of the organ of the body specified by the initial element: cardiomegaly.
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Also -megalia.

Origin of -megaly

<New Latin -megalia.See megalo-, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -megaly mean?

The combining form -megaly is used like a suffix meaning “irregular enlargement” of an organ or part of the body. It is used in many medical terms, especially in pathology.

The form -megaly ultimately comes from the Greek mégas, meaning “great, large.”

What are variants of -megaly?

The combining form -megalia, as in cardiomegalia, is a rare variant of -megaly. Corresponding forms of -megaly combined to the beginning of words is megalo- and megal-. Learn more at our Words That Use articles for the forms.

A variant of megalo- that you may be familiar with is mega-, as in megaphone or megabyte. Mega- is also used as a unit of measure prefix to indicate a fact of one million (e.g. megahertz).

Examples of -megaly

One example of a medical term that features the combining form -megaly is cardiomegaly, meaning “abnormal enlargement of the heart.”

The combining form cardio- means “heart,” from the Greek kardía. As we know, -megaly means “irregular enlargement.” Cardiomegaly literally translates to “abnormally large heart.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form gastro- means “stomach.” What does the medical condition of gastromegaly involve?

Medical definitions for -megaly


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