- word-forming element meaning "man, male, masculine," from Greek andro-, comb. form of aner (genitive andros) "a man, a male" (as opposed to a woman, a youth, or a god), from PIE root *ner- (2) "man," also "vigorous, vital, strong" (source also of Sanskrit nar-, Armenian ayr, Welsh ner).
Equivalent to Latin vir (see virile). Sometimes in later use equivalent to anthropos, Latin homo "a person, a human being," and the compounds in it often retain this genderless sense (e.g. androcephalous "having a human head," said of monsters including the Sphinx, which in Greece was female).