Share this entry

Share this page

Words of up to eight letters beginning with x

How many words can you think of beginning with the letter ‘x’? A lot of people may instinctively respond with xylophone, as this is often used in alphabet books for children. Limiting ourselves to words of eight letters or fewer (and thus not including the nine-letter word xylophone), we have found forty words beginning with x.

As you might expect, very few of these are in everyday use – with an exception being the informal abbreviation Xmas (for Christmas). Many of these x- words are scientific (such as the polysaccharide xanthan and the chemical compounds xanthate and xanthene) but others could have common applications – xeric meaning ‘very dry’, for example. Whether or not you’d be likely to use these words in casual conversation, they may well be useful for word games…

xanthan a polysaccharide
xanthate a chemical compound
xanthene a chemical compound
Xanthian from Xanthus
xanthic yellowish
xanthin a yellow colouring matter
xanthine a biochemical compound
xanthoma a yellow patch on the skin
xebec a sailing ship
xeme a fork-tailed gull
xenia gifts to a guest or guests
xenial relating to hospitality
xenogamy type of flower fertilization
xenolith piece of rock brought in from another area
xenology the study of alien biology
xenon a gaseous chemical element
xenotime a yellowish-brown mineral
xeric very dry
xeroma abnormal dryness of a body part
xerox to photocopy
Xhosa a South African people or their language
xi a Greek letter
Xiang a dialect of Chinese
xiphoid sword-shaped
Xmas Christmas
xoanon a wooden image of a god
xography a photographic process
xu a Vietnamese unit of money
xylan a compound found in wood
xylary of or relating to xylem
xylem plant tissue
xylene a liquid hydrocarbon
xylite a volatile liquid
xylitol a chemical substance
xylol = xylene
xylose a plant sugar
xyrid a sedge-like herb
xyster a surgical instrument
xyston an ancient Greek spear
xystus an ancient Greek portico

Share this entry

Share this page


Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Explore