I have known this is a phobia for quite a while and remember reading the word long ago, but when I googled it today I got 2 different spellings: mastophobia and mastrophobia. Which one is right? Is either a recognised word? — I couldn't find them in the Oxford dictionary. Is it one of the newly made up words and there isn’t an official word to describe the fear of breasts?

If there is such a word but it's not mastophobia or mastrophobia, what is it?

Example sentence:

Eric liked cold cities where people wore lots of clothing. He positively avoided popular beaches in summer, due to his ______.

  • 1
    Masto- is a combining form found in OED, with two different meanings; mastro- is not. Mastophobia therefore is known to have a couple of meanings. However, even the OED is not entirely exhaustive and mastrophobia might have a meaning.
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 17, 2019 at 19:22
  • 3
    “the fear of breasts” - I know what you mean; they sure are scary. Apr 17, 2019 at 20:11
  • 3
    Perhaps "masto-" was erroneously changed to "mastro-" by some writers by analogy with claustrophobia, hydrophobia, acrophobia, etc
    – user323578
    Apr 17, 2019 at 20:56
  • 2
    Perhaps mammophobia?
    – jxh
    Apr 26, 2019 at 0:20
  • 1
    Latin+Greek precedents are abound, but I had mammogram in mind.
    – jxh
    Oct 20, 2019 at 0:45

1 Answer 1


I don't see why people are having problems combining Latin and Greek; this is common, and present in the classic claustrophobia. The claustro comes from the Latin claustrum 'to close' and phobia is Greek.

mammophobia is the correct term to use here.

I don't know where "mastro" came from; it doesn't appear to be an actual thing and is not listed as a combining form in the Oxford English Dictionary.

masto- denotes "surgical or medical procedures involving the breasts" according to the OED so is the incorrect term.

The correct form, mammo- "denotes the mamma (breast)"

From this, we can conclude:

mammophobia noun. A fear or aversion to breasts.
Etymology: mammo comb. form denoting the breasts + -phobia comb. form a fear or aversion to something.


OED "mammo"
OED "-phobia"

  • 1
    I would have said "boobophobia".
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 14, 2019 at 20:47
  • So you would call a fear of cats feline-phobia by combining Latin and Greek? But im the correct term is Ailurophobia! And mastitis is not a medical procedure. Rather, an inflammation of the breast tissue.
    – rajah9
    Oct 15, 2019 at 1:46
  • @rajah9 Mastitis has nothing to do with the matter. Combining Latin and Greek is common today! Claustrophobia?
    – Lordology
    Nov 2, 2019 at 20:00
  • 1
    Not to mention television.
    – Robusto
    Nov 2, 2019 at 21:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.