combining form

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1884

Noun[edit]

combining form (plural combining forms)

  1. A form of a word used for combining with other words or other combining forms to make new words. A combining form may conjoin with an independent word (e.g., mini- + skirt), another combining form (e.g., photo- + -graphy) or an affix (e.g., cephal + -ic); it is thus distinguished from an affix, which can be added to either a free word or a combining form but not solely to another affix (e.g., Iceland + -ic but not pro- + -ic). It can also be distinguished historically from an affix when it is borrowed from another language in which it is descriptively a word (e.g., the French mal gave the English mal- in malodorous) or a combining form (e.g., the Greek kako-, a combining form of kakos, gave the English caco- in cacography).
  2. In computer typography, the form of an accent that can be combined with other characters, as opposed to a single character that includes the accent.
    Some fonts support more of these ligatures and combining forms than others.

Usage notes[edit]

The term combining form does not imply placement before or after the element to which the form is attached.

Translations[edit]

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