I seek a word with the meaning of "a (compound) word of Latin or Greek origin", as in:

[...] words are commonly used in scientific terminology.

The word itself doesn't have to be a compound word of Latin or Greek origin, but I suppose it would be nice if it were. It doesn't necessarily have to have both Latin or Greek origin, just one (or both) of those.

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    I don't think anything will get the idea across better than compound words of Latin and/or Greek origin are commonly used in scientific terminology. – Davo Sep 22 '17 at 21:10
  • 'Neo-classical compound' fits the bill. – BillJ Sep 23 '17 at 7:20
  • I would call them Greco-Latin words. – Aharon M. Vertmont Sep 23 '17 at 17:11

My choice would be 'neo-classical compound', i.e. a compound where at least one of the component bases is a combining form, usually of Greek or Latin origin.

Such compounds figure prominently in scientific terminology, as well as in learned vocabulary generally: "astronaut", pseudonym", "psychology" and the like.


The word you probably need is classical - b. gen. Of, relating to, or characteristic of Greek or Roman antiquity. (OED sense 1b)

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    And 'compound' has classical compound roots: Latin 'compon[ere]' = to put with. – AmI Sep 22 '17 at 21:13

Perhaps the adjective 'macaronic' fits the bill. You'd be using the word in a new way, but that's how English works, isn't it?

  • I would use that word for cases when it is both Latin and Greek, not when it is only one of them. – IllidanS4 Oct 23 '17 at 9:12

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