Chemistry. of or pertaining to an atom other than carbon, particularly in a cyclic compound.
Informal. heterosexual.
noun, plural heteros.
Informal. a heterosexual person.

1930–35 for def 2; (in def 1) by shortening of heteroatom; (in def 2) by shortening of heterosexual; see -o

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a combining form meaning “different,” “other,” used in the formation of compound words: heterocyclic.
Also, especially before a vowel, heter-.

combining form of Greek héteros the other of two, other, different

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hetero (ˈhɛtərəʊ)
n, —adj , pl -os
short for heterosexual

combining form
Compare homo- other, another, or different: heterodyne; heterophony; heterosexual
[from Greek heteros other]

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Word Origin & History

"other, different," from comb. form of Gk. heteros "the other (of two), another, different;" first element meaning "one, at one, together;" the second cognate with the second element in L. al-ter, Goth. an-þar, O.E. o-ðer "other."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

hetero- or heter-
Other; different: heterocellular.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
A prefix that means "different" or "other," as in heterophyllous, having different kinds of leaves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
As for the rest of you godless hetero-couples reading this, toss your contraceptives and get busy in the bedroom.
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