word-forming element meaning "man, male, masculine," from Greek andro-, combining form of anēr (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."

Equivalent to Latin vir (see virile). Sometimes in later use it was equivalent to Greek anthrōpos, Latin homo "a person, a human being," and in compounds it often retain this genderless sense (e.g. androcephalous "having a human head," said of monsters including the Sphinx, which in Greece was female).

updated on September 21, 2022