Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

spir(o)-1

Spiral; coiled.

[Latin spira, Greek speira, a coil.]

This occurs in a number of names for organisms: a spirochaete (US spirochete)(Greek khaitē, long hair) is a spirally twisted bacterium, especially one that causes syphilis; a spirogyra (Greek gura, round) is a green alga that contains chlorophyll in spiral bands; the shrub called the spiraea is so named from its coiled fruits; spirillum is a bacterium with a rigid spiral structure; spirulina (Latin spirula, small spiral) are filamentous cyanobacteria which form tangled masses, so called from their corkscrew shape.

Visit Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words site for 2000+ articles on English!

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Page last updated 23 September 2008.
Your comments and suggestions on the site are very welcome.