1. A combining form or prefix meaning a less quantity, deficient, below normal or a low state or degree, of that denoted by the word with which it is joined, or position under or beneath. For example, hypocalcaemia is low calcium in the blood.

Before a vowel or h it is used as hyp-.

2. <chemistry> A prefix denoting that the element to the name of which it is prefixed enters with a low valence, or in a low state of oxidization, usually the lowest, into the compounds indicated; as, hyposulphurous acid. Used to denote the lowest, or least rich in oxygen, of a series of chemical compounds.

Compare: sub-.

Origin: Gr. Under, beneath; akin to L. Sub.

(04 Mar 1998)

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