Also found in: Medical, Acronyms.


(word root) down, through
Examples of words with the root cata-: catalog
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


1. Down: catadromous.
2. Reverse; backward; degenerative: cataplasia.

[Greek kata-, from kata, down, downwards, thoroughly; see kat- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




, before an aspirate


or before a vowel


1. down; downwards; lower in position: catadromous; cataphyll.
2. indicating reversal, opposition, degeneration, etc: cataplasia; catatonia.
[from Greek kata-, from kata. In compound words borrowed from Greek, kata- means: down (catabolism), away, off (catalectic), against (category), according to (catholic), and thoroughly (catalogue)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


or kata-,
a prefix meaning “down,” “against,” “back,” occurring orig. in loanwords from Greek: cataclysm; catalog; catalepsy. Also, esp. before a vowel or h, cat-.
[< Greek kata-, comb. form of katá down, through, against, etc.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Today the Sutton Coldfield family reveal for the first time the sheer horror of the cata- strophic crash at the hands of a teenage speeder - and Cerys's incredible will to live.
Anyone wanting a copy of the Traidcraft cata- logue for Christmas should phone Mrs Bishop, 024 7631 4402.