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See also: hypo. and hypo-



From the abbreviation of various terms beginning with hypo-, from Ancient Greek ὑπό (hupó, under).



hypo (plural hypos)

  1. (obsolete) Melancholy; a fit of ‘hypochondria’; a morbid depression. (obsolete by 1881 according to Eric Partridge)
    • 1711 "I have a better Stomach tha usuall and have perfectly forgot what the Hyppo means",Joseph Collett, merchant, writing from Rio de Janeiro, Oct 15, 1711, in his Private Letter Books, edited by H. H. Dodwell in 1933. (cited by Eric Partidge, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventinoal English
    • 1837 Abraham Lincoln: Tell your sister I dont want to hear any more about selling out and moving. That gives me the hypo whenever I think of it. (Letter to Mary S. Owens,May 7. 1837, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. (Chapter 1, "Loomings")
      But thou sayest, methinks that white-lead chapter about whiteness is but a white flag hung out from a craven soul; thou surrenderest to a hypo, Ishmael. (Chapter 42, "The Whiteness of the Whale")
  1. (photography) sodium thiosulfate, a photographic fixing agent.
  2. (slang) A hypoglycaemia attack in a person with diabetes.
  3. (informal) The substance sodium hyposulfite.
  4. (slang) A hypodermic syringe.
  5. (slang, finance, Britain) Hypothecation.
  6. (informal, among law students and their professors) A hypothetical case.
  7. (informal, zoology) A hypomelanistic snake.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Hypo may be used informally for other polysyllabic terms formed with the prefix hypo- usually in contexts where it is clear which specific term is meant.


See also[edit]