combining form

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1871 attestation.


combining form (plural combining forms)

  1. (grammar) A type of word part; a bound morpheme; used in combination with a word, a different combining form, or an affix to form a new word.
    • 2007, P. H. Matthews, “combining form”, in The concise Oxford dictionary of linguistics, edition 2nd, Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199202720, page 63–64:
      Common in English, where in some putative compounds, such as autocrat or technocrat, both members would be combining forms.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see the citations page.
  2. (computing, typography) A character encoded from a sequence of other characters instead of a precomposed character.
    • 2014 April 10, “XML Entity Definitions for Characters (2nd Edition)”,, accessed on 2015-03-22:
      As far as possible this specification uses non-combining characters, however, in the cases tdot, TripleDot and DotDot Unicode only has combining forms of the accents, and so the entity replacement text starts with a space, to avoid the possibility that the expansion of the entity combines with preceding text.


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