LEXICON OF BIOMEDICAL WORD ELEMENTS

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Here is a list of word roots , prefixes and suffixes to ease you better understand and efficient learning your medical study. Remember terminology is the basic of Medico studies.
a- no, not, without (atom, agranulocyte)
ab- away (abducens, abduction)
acetabulo- small cup (acetabulum)
acro- tip, extremity, peak (acromion,
acromegaly)
ad- to, toward, near (adsorption, adrenal)
adeno- gland (lymphadenitis,
adenohypophysis)
aero- air, oxygen (aerobic, anaerobe,
aerophagy)
af- toward (afferent)
ag- together (agglutination)
-al pertaining to (parietal, pharyngeal,
temporal)
ala- wing (ala nasi)
albi- white (albicans, linea alba, albino)
algi- pain (analgesic, myalgia)
aliment- nourishment (alimentary)
allo- other, different (allele, allograft)
amphi- both, either (amphiphilic,
amphiarthrosis)
an- without (anaerobic, anemic)
ana- 1. up, build up (anabolic,
anaphylaxis). 2. apart (anaphase,
anatomy). 3. back (anastomosis)
andro- male (androgen)
angi- vessel (angiogram, angioplasty,
hemangioma)
ante- before, in front (antebrachium)
antero- forward (anterior, anterograde)
anti- against (antidiuretic, antibody,
antagonist)
apo- from, off, away, above (apocrine,
aponeurosis)
arbor- tree (arboreal, arborization)
artic- 1. joint (articulation). 2. speech
(articulate)
-ary pertaining to (axillary, coronary)
-ase enzyme (polymerase, kinase, amylase)
ast-, astro- star (aster, astrocyte)
-ata, -ate 1. possessing (hamate, corniculate).
2. plural of -a (stomata, carcinomata)
athero- fat (atheroma, atherosclerosis)
atrio- entryway (atrium, atrioventricular)
auri- ear (auricle, binaural)
auto- self (autolysis, autoimmune)
axi- axis, straight line (axial, axoneme, axon)
baro- pressure (baroreceptor, hyperbaric)
bene- good, well (benign, beneficial
bili- bile (biliary, bilirubin)
bio- life, living (biology, biopsy, microbial)
blasto- precursor, bud, producer (fibroblast,
osteoblast, blastomere)
brachi- arm (brachium, brachialis,
antebrachium)
brady- slow (bradycardia, bradypnea)
bucco- cheek (buccal, buccinator)
burso- purse (bursa, bursitis)
calc- calcium, stone (calcaneus,
hypocalcemia)
callo- thick (callus, callosum)
calori- heat (calorie, calorimetry,
calorigenic)
calv-, calvari- bald, skull (calvaria)
calyx cup, vessel, chalice (glycocalyx, renal
calyx)
capito- head (capitis, capitate, capitulum)
capni- smoke, carbon dioxide (hypocapnia)
carcino- cancer (carcinogen, carcinoma)
cardi- heart (cardiac, cardiology,
pericardium)
carot- 1. carrot (carotene). 2. stupor (carotid)
carpo- wrist (carpus, metacarpal)
case- cheese (caseosa, casein)
cata- down, break down (catabolism)
cauda- tail (cauda equina, caudate nucleus)
-cel little (pedicel)
celi- belly, abdomen (celiac)
centri- center, middle (centromere,
centriole)
cephalo- head (cephalic, encephalitis)
cervi- neck, narrow part (cervix, cervical)
chiasm- cross, X (optic chiasm)
choano- funnel (choana)
chole- bile (cholecystokinin,
cholelithotripsy)
chondro- 1. grain (mitochondria).
2. cartilage, gristle (chondrocyte,
perichondrium)
chromo- color (dichromat, chromatin,
cytochrome)
chrono- time (chronotropic, chronic)
cili- eyelash (cilium, superciliary)
circ- about, around (circadian, circumduction)
cis- cut (incision, incisor)
cisterna reservoir (cisterna chyli)
clast- break down, destroy (osteoclast)
clavi- hammer, club, key (clavicle,
supraclavicular)
-cle little (tubercle, corpuscle)
cleido- clavicle (sternocleidomastoid)
cnemo- lower leg (gastrocnemius)
co- together (coenzyme, cotransport)
collo- 1. hill (colliculus). 2. glue (colloid,
collagen)
contra- opposite (contralateral)
corni- horn (cornified, corniculate, cornu)
corono- crown (coronary, corona, coronal)
corpo- body (corpus luteum, corpora
quadrigemina)
corti- bark, rind (cortex, cortical)
costa- rib (intercostal, subcostal)
coxa- hip (os coxae, coxal)
crani- helmet (cranium, epicranius)
cribri- sieve, strainer (cribriform, area
cribrosa)
crino- separate, secrete (holocrine,
endocrinology)
crista- crest (crista galli, mitochondrial
crista)
crito- to separate (hematocrit)
cruci- cross (cruciate ligament)
-cule, -culus small (canaliculus, trabecula,
auricular)
cune- wedge (cuneiform, cuneatus)
cutane-, cuti- skin (subcutaneous, cuticle)
cysto- bladder (cystitis, cholecystectomy)
cyto- cell (cytology, cytokinesis, monocyte)
de- down (defecate, deglutition,
dehydration)
demi- half (demifacet, demilune)
den-, denti- tooth (dentition, dens, dental)
dendro- tree, branch (dendrite,
oligodendrocyte)
derma-, dermato- skin (dermatology,
hypodermic)
desmo- band, bond, ligament (desmosome,
syndesmosis)
dia- 1. across, through, separate
(diaphragm, dialysis). 2. day (circadian)
dis- 1. apart (dissect, dissociate). 2. opposite,
absence (disinfect, disability)
diure- pass through, urinate (diuretic, diuresis)
dorsi- back (dorsal, dorsum, latissimus dorsi)
duc- to carry (duct, adduction, abducens)
dys- bad, abnormal, painful (dyspnea,
dystrophy)
e- out (ejaculate, eversion)
-eal pertaining to (hypophyseal, arboreal)
ec-, ecto- outside, out of, external (ectopic,
ectoderm, splenectomy)
ef- out of (efferent, effusion)
-el, -elle small (fontanel, organelle, micelle)
electro- electricity (electrocardiogram,
electrolyte)
em- in, within (embolism, embedded)
emesi-, emeti- vomiting (emetic, hyperemesis)
-emia blood condition (anemia, hypoxemia)
en- in, into (enzyme, parenchyma)
encephalo- brain (encephalitis,
telencephalon)
enchymo- poured in (mesenchyme,
parenchyma)
endo- within, into, internal (endocrine,
endocytosis)
entero- gut, intestine (mesentery, myenteric)
epi- upon, above (epidermis, epiphysis,
epididymis)
ergo- work, energy, action (allergy, adrenergic)
eryth-, erythro- red (erythema, erythrocyte)
esthesio- sensation, feeling (anesthesia,
somesthetic)
eu- good, true, normal, easy (eupnea,
aneuploidy)
exo- out (exopeptidase, exocytosis, exocrine)
facili- easy (facilitated)
fasci- band, bundle (fascia, fascicle)
fenestr- window (fenestrated)
fer- to carry (efferent, uriniferous)
ferri- iron (ferritin, transferrin)
fibro- fiber (fibroblast, fibrosis)
fili- thread (myofilament, filiform)
flagello- whip (flagellum)
foli- leaf (folic acid, folia)
-form shape (cuneiform, fusiform)
fove- pit, depression (fovea)
funiculo- little rope, cord (funiculus)
fusi- 1. spindle (fusiform). 2. pour out
(perfusion)
gamo- marriage, union (monogamy, gamete)
gastro- belly, stomach (gastrointestinal,
digastric)
-gen, -genic, -genesis producing, giving rise
to (pathogen, carcinogenic, glycogenesis)
genio- chin (geniohyoid, genioglossus)
germi- 1. sprout, bud (germinal,
germinativum). 2. microbe (germicide)
gero- old age (progeria, geriatrics,
gerontology)
gesto- 1. to bear, carry (ingest). 2. pregnancy
(gestation, progesterone)
glia- glue (neuroglia, microglia)
globu- ball, sphere (globulin, hemoglobin)
glom- ball (glomerulus)
glosso- tongue (glossopharyngeal,
hypoglossal)
glyco- sugar (glycogen, glycolysis,
hypoglycemia)
gono- 1. angle, corner (trigone). 2. seed,
sex cell, generation (gonad, oogonium,
gonorrhea)
gradi- walk, step (retrograde, gradient)
-gram recording of (electrocardiogram,
sonogram)
-graph recording instrument (sonograph,
electrocardiograph)
-graphy recording process (sonography,
radiography)
gravi- severe, heavy (gravid, myasthenia
gravis)
gyro- turn, twist (gyrus)
hallu- great toe (hallux, hallucis)
hemi- half (hemidesmosome, hemisphere)
-hemia blood condition (polycythemia)
hemo- blood (hemophilia, hemoglobin,
hematology)
hetero- different, other, various
(heterozygous)
histo- tissue, web (histology, histone)
holo- whole, entire (holistic, holocrine)
homeo- constant, unchanging, uniform
(homeostasis, homeothermic)
homo- same, alike (homologous, homozygous)
hyalo- clear, glassy (hyaline, hyaluronic acid)
hydro- water (dehydration, hydrolysis,
hydrophobic)
hyper- above, above normal, excessive
(hyperkalemia, hypertonic)
hypo- below, below normal, deficient
(hypogastric, hyponatremia, hypophysis)
-ia condition (anemia, hypocalcemia,
osteomalacia)
-ic pertaining to (isotonic, hemolytic,
antigenic)
-icle, -icul small (ossicle, canaliculus,
reticular)
ilia- flank, loin (ilium, iliac)
-illa, -illus little (bacillus)
-in protein (trypsin, fibrin, globulin)
infra- below (infraspinous, infrared)
ino- fiber (inotropic, inositol)
insulo- island (insula, insulin)
inter- between (intercellular, intervertebral)
intra- within (intracellular, intraocular)
iono- ion (ionotropic, cationic)
ischi- to hold back (ischium, ischemia)
-ism 1. process, state, condition
(metabolism, rheumatism). 2. doctrine,
belief, theory (holism, reductionism,
naturalism)
iso- same, equal (isometric, isotonic, isomer)
-issimus most, greatest (latissimus,
longissimus)
-ite little (dendrite, somite)
-itis inflammation (dermatitis, gingivitis)
jug- to join (conjugated, jugular)
juxta- next to (juxtamedullary,
juxtaglomerular)
kali- potassium (hypokalemia)
karyo- seed, nucleus (megakaryocyte,
karyotype)
kerato- horn (keratin, keratinocyte)
kine- motion, action (kinetic, kinase,
cytokinesis)
labi- lip (labium, levator labii)
lacera- torn, cut (foramen lacerum,
laceration)
lacrimo- tear, cry (lacrimal gland,
nasolacrimal)
lacto- milk (lactose, lactation, prolactin)
lamina- layer (lamina propria, laminar flow)
latero- side (bilateral, ipsilateral)
lati- broad (fascia lata, latissimus dorsi)
-lemma husk (sarcolemma, neurilemma)
lenti- lens (lentiform)
-let small (platelet)
leuko- white (leukocyte, leukemia)
levato- to raise (levator labii, elevation)
ligo- to bind (ligand, ligament)
line- line (linea alba, linea nigra)
litho- stone (otolith, lithotripsy)
-logy study of (histology, physiology,
hematology)
lucid- light, clear (stratum lucidum, zona
pellucida)
lun- moon, crescent (lunate, lunule,
semilunar)
lute- yellow (macula lutea, corpus luteum)
lyso-, lyto- split apart, break down
(lysosome, hydrolysis, electrolyte,
hemolytic)
macro- large (macromolecule, macrophage)
macula- spot (macula lutea, macula densa)
mali- bad (malignant, malocclusion,
malformed)
malle- hammer (malleus, malleolus)
mammo- breast (mammary, mammillary)
mano- hand (manus, manipulate)
manubri- handle (manubrium)
masto- breast (mastoid, gynecomastia)
medi- middle (medial, mediastinum,
intermediate)
medullo- marrow, pith (medulla)
mega- large (megakaryocyte, hepatomegaly)
melano- black (melanin, melanocyte,
melancholy)
meno- month (menstruation, menopause)
mento- chin (mental, mentalis)
mero- part, segment (isomer, centromere,
merocrine)
meso- in the middle (mesoderm, mesentery)
meta- beyond, next in a series (metaphase,
metacarpal)
metabol- change (metabolism, metabolite)
-meter measuring device (calorimeter,
spirometer)
metri- 1. length, measure (isometric,
emmetropic). 2. uterus (endometrium)
micro- small (microscopic, microcytic,
microglia)
mito- thread, filament, grain (mitochondria,
mitosis)
mono- one (monocyte, monogamy,
mononucleosis)
morpho- form, shape, structure
(morphology, amorphous)
muta- change (mutagen, mutation)
myelo- 1. spinal cord (poliomyelitis,
myelin). 2. bone marrow (myeloid,
myelocytic)
myo-, mysi- muscle (myoglobin, myosin,
epimysium)
natri- sodium (hyponatremia, natriuretic)
neo- new (neonatal, gluconeogenesis)
nephro- kidney (nephron, hydronephrosis)
neuro- nerve (aponeurosis, neurosoma,
neurology)
nucleo- nucleus, kernel (nucleolus, nucleic
acid)
oo- egg (oogenesis, oocyte)
ob- 1. life (aerobic, microbe). 2. against,
toward, before (obstetrics, obturator,
obstruction)
oculo- eye (oculi, oculomotor)
odonto- tooth (odontoblast, periodontal)
-oid like, resembling (colloid, sigmoid,
ameboid)
-ole small (arteriole, bronchiole, nucleolus)
oligo- few, a little, scanty (oligopeptide,
oliguria)
-oma tumor, mass (carcinoma, hematoma)
omo- shoulder (omohyoid, acromion)
onycho- nail, claw (hyponychium,
onychomycosis)
op- vision (optics, myopia, photopic)
-opsy viewing, to see (biopsy, rhodopsin)
or- mouth (oral, orbicularis oris)
orbi- circle (orbicularis, orbit)
organo- tool, instrument (organ, organelle)
ortho- straight (orthopnea, orthodontics,
orthopedics)
-ose 1. full of (adipose). 2. sugar (sucrose,
glucose)
-osis 1. process (osmosis, exocytosis).
2. condition, disease (cyanosis,
thrombosis). 3. increase (leukocytosis)
osmo- push (osmosis, chemiosmotic)
osse-, oste- bone (osseous, osteoporosis)
oto- ear (otolith, otitis, parotid)
-ous 1. full of (nitrogenous, edematous).
2. pertaining to (mucous, nervous).
3. like, characterized by (squamous,
filamentous)
ovo- egg (ovum, ovary, ovulation)
oxy- 1. oxygen (hypoxia, oxyhemoglobin).
2. sharp, quick (oxytocin)
palli- pale (pallor, globus pallidus)
palpebro- eyelid (palpebrae)
pan- all (panhypopituitarism, pancreas)
panni- cloth, rag (pannus, panniculus)
papillo- nipple (papilla, papillary)
par- birth (postpartum, parturition,
multiparous)
para- next to (parathyroid, parotid)
parieto- wall (parietal)
patho- 1. disease (pathology, pathogen).
2. feeling (sympathetic)
pecto- 1. chest (pectoralis). 2. comblike
(pectineus)
pedi- 1. foot (bipedal, pedicle). 2. child
(pediatrics)
pelvi- basin (pelvis, pelvic)
-penia deficiency (leukopenia,
thrombocytopenia)
penna- feather (unipennate, bipennate)
peri- around (periosteum, peritoneum,
periodontal)
perone- fibula (peroneus tertius, peroneal
nerve)
phago- eat (phagocytosis, macrophage)
philo- loving, attracted to (hydrophilic,
amphiphilic)
phobo- fearing, repelled by (hydrophobic)
phor- to carry, bear (diaphoresis,
electrophoresis)
phragm- partition (diaphragm)
phreno- diaphragm (phrenic nerve)
physio- nature, natural cause (physiology,
physician)
-physis growth (diaphysis, hypophysis)
pilo- hair (piloerection)
pino- drink, imbibe (pinocytosis)
planto- sole of foot (plantaris, plantar wart)
plasi- growth (hyperplasia)
plasm- shaped, molded (cytoplasm,
endoplasmic)
plasti- form (thromboplastin)
platy- flat (platysma)
pnea- breath, breathing (eupnea, dyspnea)
pneumo- air, breath, lung (pneumonia,
pneumothorax)
podo- foot (pseudopod, podocyte)
poies- forming (hemopoiesis,
erythropoietin)
poly- many, much, excessive (polypeptide,
polyuria)
primi- first (primary, primipara, primitive)
pro- 1. before, in front, first (prokaryote,
prophase, prostate). 2. promote, favor
(progesterone, prolactin)
pseudo- false (pseudopod)
psycho- mind (psychosis, psychosomatic)
ptero-, pterygo- wing (pterygoid)
-ptosis dropping, falling, sagging (apoptosis,
nephroptosis)
puncto- point (puncta)
pyro- fire (pyrogen, antipyretic)
quadri- four (quadriceps, quadratus)
quater- fourth (quaternary)
radiat- radiating (corona radiata)
rami- branch (ramus)
recto- straight (rectus abdominis, rectum)
reno- kidney (renal, renin)
reti- network (reticular, rete testis)
retinac- retainer, bracelet (retinaculum)
retro- behind, backward (retroperitoneal,
retrovirus)
rhombo- rhombus (rhomboideus,
rhombencephalon)
rubo-, rubro- red (bilirubin, rubrospinal)
rugo- fold, wrinkle (ruga, corrugator)
sacculo- little sac (saccule)
sarco- flesh, muscle (sarcoplasm, sarcomere)
scala- staircase (scala tympani)
sclero- hard, tough (sclera, sclerosis)
scopo- see (microscope, endoscopy)
secto- cut (section, dissection)
semi- half (semilunar, semimembranosus)
sepsi- infection (asepsis, septicemia)
-sis -process (diapedesis, amniocentesis)
sole- sandal, sole of foot, flatfish (sole, soleus)
soma-, somato- body (somatic, somatotropin)
spheno- wedge (sphenoid)
spiro- breathing (inspiration, spirometry)
splanchno- viscera (splanchnic)
spleno- 1. bandage (splenius capitis).
2. spleen (splenic artery)
squamo- scale, flat (squamous,
desquamation)
stasi-, stati- put, remain, stay the same
(hemostasis, homeostatic)
steno- narrow (stenosis)
ster-, stereo- solid, three-dimensional
(steroid, stereoscopic)
sterno- breast, chest (sternum,
sternocleidomastoid)
stria- stripe (striated, corpus striatum)
sub- below (subcutaneous, subclavicular)
sulc- furrow, groove (sulcus)
supra- above (supraspinous, supraclavicular)
sura- calf of leg (triceps surae)
sym- together (sympathetic, symphysis)
syn- together (synostosis, syncytium)
tachy- fast (tachycardia, tachypnea)
tarsi- ankle (tarsus, metatarsal)
tecto- roof, cover (tectorial membrane,
tectum)
telo- last, end (telophase, telencephalon,
telodendria)
tempo- time (temporal)
terti- third (tertiary)
theli- nipple, female, tender (epithelium,
polythelia)
thermo- heat (thermogenesis,
thermoregulation)
thrombo- blood clot (thrombosis, thrombin)
thyro- shield (thyroid, thyrohyoid)
-tion process (circulation, pronation)
toci- birth (oxytocin)
tomo- 1. cut (tomography, atom, anatomy).
2. segment (dermatome, myotome,
sclerotome)
tono- force, tension (isotonic, tonus,
myotonia)
topo- place, position (isotope, ectopic)
trabo- plate (trabecula)
trans- across (transpiration, transdermal)
trapezi- 1. table, grinding surface
(trapezium). 2. trapezoid (trapezius)
tri- three (triceps, triglyceride)
tricho- hair (trichosiderin, peritrichial)
trocho- wheel, pulley (trochlea)
troph- 1. food, nourishment (trophic,
trophoblast). 2. growth (dystrophy,
hypertrophy)
tropo- to turn, change (metabotropic,
gonadotropin)
tunica- coat (tunica intima, tunica vaginalis)
tympano- drum, eardrum (tympanic, tensor
tympani)
-ul small (trabecula, tubule, capitulum,
glomerulus)
-uncle, -unculus small (homunculus,
caruncle)
uni- one (unipennate, unipolar)
uri- urine (glycosuria, urinalysis, diuretic)
utriculo- little bag (utriculus)
vagino- sheath (invaginate, tunica vaginalis)
vago- wander (vagus)
vaso- vessel (vascular, vas deferens, vasa
recta)
ventro- belly, lower part (ventral, ventricle)
vermi- worm (vermis, vermiform appendix)
vertebro- spine (vertebrae, intervertebral)
vesico- bladder, blister (vesical, vesicular)
villo- hair, hairy (microvillus)
vitre- glass (in vitro, vitreous humor)
vivi- life, alive (in vivo, revive)
zygo- union, join, mate (zygomatic, zygote,
azygos)

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notes.nursium.com: LEXICON OF BIOMEDICAL WORD ELEMENTS
LEXICON OF BIOMEDICAL WORD ELEMENTS
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