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a combining form meaning “outer,” “outside,” “external,” used in the formation of compound words:
combining form
indicating outer, outside, external: ectoplasm

word-forming element generally meaning “outside, external,” before vowels ect-, comb. form of Greek ektos “outside” (adv.), used to form scientific compounds in Greek; related to Greek ek, ex “out,” from PIE *eghs- (see ex-).

ecto- or ect-
Outer; external: ectoparasite.


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  • Ectoantigen

    ectoantigen ec·to·an·ti·gen (ěk’tō-ān’tĭ-jən) n. A toxin or other inducer of antibody formation, separate or separable from its source. Also called exoantigen.

  • Ectoblast

    [ek-tuh-blast] /ˈɛk təˌblæst/ noun, Embryology. 1. the ectoderm. 2. . /ˈɛktəʊˌblæst/ noun 1. another name for ectoderm, epiblast ectoblast ec·to·blast (ěk’tə-blāst’) n. See ectoderm.

  • Ectocardia

    ectocardia ec·to·car·di·a (ěk’tō-kär’dē-ə) n. Congenital displacement of the heart. Also called exocardia.

  • Ectocervix

    ectocervix ec·to·cer·vix (ěk’tō-sûr’vĭks) n. The portion of the uterine cervix extending into the vagina and lined with stratified squamous epithelium. ec’to·cer’vi·cal (-vĭ-kəl) adj.

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