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variant of onto- before a vowel.
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Other definitions for ont- (2 of 3)


a combining form meaning “being,” used in the formation of compound words: diplont,haplont.

Origin of -ont

<Greek -ont stem of ṓn “being,” present participle of eînai “to be” (cf. onto-)

Other definitions for ont- (3 of 3)


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


What does -ont mean?

The combining form -ont is used like a suffix to mean “being.” It is very occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

The form -ont comes from Greek ṓn, meaning “being.” The Latin equivalents are ēns, ent- and essent- “being,” which are the sources of entity and essence.

When used as a prefix at the beginning of a word, -ont becomes ont- or onto-, as in ontogeny or ontic. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles for ont- and onto-.

Examples of -ont

One example of a scientific term that features the form -ont is diplont, the diploid individual in a life cycle that has a diploid and a haploid phase. In other words, it’s an organism with two sets of chromosomes.

The form dipl- means “double” or “in pairs.” Because -ont means “being,” diplont literally translates to “double being.”

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

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

Not every word that ends with the exact letters -ont, such as storefront or cryodont, is necessarily using the combining form -ont to denote “being.” Learn why -odont means “having teeth” at our entry for this form.

Break it down!

A diplont is an organism that has two sets of chromosomes. Keeping in mind that hapl- means “single,” what is a haplont?

How to use ont- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ont-


abbreviation for
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