any of several tropical, freshwater fishes of the family Characidae, often kept in aquariums.

1930–35; shortening of Neo-Latin Tetragonopterus former genus name. See tetragon, -o-, -pterous

Dictionary.com Unabridged


a combining form meaning “four,” used in the formation of compound words: tetrabranchiate.
Also, especially before a vowel, tetr-.

< Greek, combining form of téttara, neuter of téttares four

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tetra
World English Dictionary
tetra (ˈtɛtrə)
n , pl -ra, -ras
any of various brightly coloured tropical freshwater fishes of the genus Hemigrammus and related genera: family Characidae (characins)
[C20: short for New Latin tetragonopterus (former genus name), from tetragon + -o- + -pterous, from Greek pteron wing]

tetra- or (before a vowel) tetr-
combining form
four: tetrameter
[from Greek]
tetr- or (before a vowel) tetr-
combining form
[from Greek]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

comb. form meaning "four," from Gk. tetra-, combining form of tettares, tessares "four" (see four).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tetra- or tetr-

  1. Four: tetradactyl.

  2. Composed of or containing four atoms, molecules, or groups: tetrasaccharide.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
They compared the genes with those of tetra populations that lived out in the light.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature