I am looking for a word that denotes a word composed of at least two parts, at least one of which is from a different language than the other(s); a word with mixed etymology.

An example is antimatter where we have the Greek prefix for not, anti-, with the Latin word for substance, māteria.

If pressed, I might suggest "bastard word" for these specimen, but it does not sound quite right. Other examples of such words are also much appreciated!

3 Answers 3


Alternatively, a loanblend:

a word some of whose constituents are native and others of foreign origin—called also hybrid

Strangely, although Merriam-Webster's definition of loanblend does indeed refer to hybrid, none of the senses that it lists for hybrid compare. Also strangely, while I found this in Merriam-Webster, I did not find it in Oxford or some other main dictionaries. (But I was trying to locate something that wasn't just in Wikipedia . . .)


According to Wikipedia, one term for this is a hybrid word. The concept is briefly discussed here and here. Ask Metafilter has a more specific question with some other possibilities.

  • Indeed, and a fine list of examples as well. I thought of hypervisor as I was waiting for your answer, but I would never have thought of some of the others :).
    – Bjonnfesk
    Jun 3, 2018 at 1:43
  • One example you may not have thought of is @Chemomechanics, from (medieval) Latin alchimia and Greek mēhkhanikos ;)
    – Bjonnfesk
    Jun 3, 2018 at 1:46

"Macaronic", of mixed foreign and native etymology. See the Merriam Webster Dictionary or the American Herritage Dictionary.

  • Your answer should have a link to where this word is defined (see how the other answers have done it).
    – CJ Dennis
    Mar 4, 2020 at 10:43
  • OK, how's that? Mar 4, 2020 at 14:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .