Common Prefixes, Roots, And Suffixes In Medical Terminology

Medical Terminology: Common Prefixes, Roots, And Suffixes

In medical practice, there is peculiar medical terminology in form of prefixes, roots, and suffixes used, most of which are common to every medical practitioner. These prefixes, roots, and suffixes help medical professionals to have a full grasp of the medical terminology.

Every professional field has its jargon and this jargon is been used whenever they don’t want someone outside their field to understand what they are saying and also for a consensus among the particular professional field.

A prefix is a letter or word(s) that appears at the start of medical terminology. The prefix changes how the word is used in medicine. Correct prefix spelling and pronunciation are crucial.

Many of the prefixes found in medical terminologies are also found in the English language and that means having a good knowledge of English prefixes will also guarantee your good knowledge of medical prefixes.

Usually, the descriptive portion of medical terminology is found in the prefix. The prefix refers to qualities like a place, a direction, a number, a quantity, an amount, a size, or a color.

Suffixes are word components that appear at the end of words. Medical terminology meanings can be changed by suffixes. The suffix completes the word and gives meaning to the medical terminology.

The suffix may designate a condition, process, procedure, specialty, test, or status. Suffixes are not always spelled out in the definition of a word. It’s typical for organizational definitions of medical terms to omit explicit mention of suffixes.

Nonetheless, the suffix would always be made explicitly clear when translating or interpreting clinical information.

The subject of the medical terminology is provided by the root. It is the fundamental meaning of the word and frequently refers to a bodily organ or system. Whenever the prefix is existent, the word is formed by the root.

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If there is no prefix, the word’s root will be its first component. The position of the root is determined by the presence or absence of the prefixes.

The vocabulary used in the healthcare industry to describe anatomy, structures, conditions, diagnoses, procedures, treatments, and much more is known as medical terminology.

Prefixes, roots, and suffixes are part of the languages used in medical terminology. Prefixes, roots, and suffixes are frequently used in conjunction to define the meaning of medical and nursing terminologies.

The beginning of the medical terminology is the prefix, and the middle of the medical terminology is the root, while the ending of the medical terminology is the suffix.

Medical Terminology: Common Prefixes, Roots, And Suffixes

Below Is a Comprehensive List Of Common Prefixes And Their Meaning With Some Example As Used In Medical Technology:

Common Prefixes In Medical Terminology

  1. A-, An- Without; Lacking example Anorexia.
  2. Andr/o- Male example Androgen
  3. Anti- Against example (e.g) Antibodies
  4. Auto- Self e.g Autoimmune
  5. Bio- Life e.g Biology
  6. Chem/o- Chemistry e.g Chemotherapy
  7. Contra- Against e.g Contraceptive
  8. Cyt/o- Cell e.g Cytokine
  9. Dis- Separation; Taking apart e.g Dissection
  10. Dys- Difficult; Abnormal e.g Dyspnea
  11. Eu- Good; Well e.g Eupnea
  12. Fibr/o- Fiber e.g Fibrosis
  13. Gluco-, Glyco- Glucose; Sugar e.g Glycogen, Glucagon
  14. Gyn/o-, Gynec- Female e.g Gynecologist
  15. Hydr/o- Water e.g Hydrocephalus
  16. Idio- Self; One’s own e.g Idiopathic
  17. Lyso-, Lys- Break down; Destruction; Dissolving e.g Lysosome
  18. Mal- Bad/ Abnormal e.g Malignant
  19. Myc/o- Fungus e.g Mycetoma
  20. Necr/o- Death e.g Necrosis
  21. Neo- New e.g Neonatal
  22. Oxy- Sharp, Acute, O2 e.g Oxytocin, Oxygen
  23. Pan-, Pant/o- All/everywhere e.g Pancytopenia
  24. Pharmaco- Drug/Medicine e.g Pharmacology
  25. Re- Again or Backward e.g Rejuvenation
  26. Somat/o-, Somatic- Body or Bodily e.g Somatic cell
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Common Suffixes In Medical Terminology

Below Are a Comprehensive List Of Common Suffixes And Their Meaning With Some Example As Used In Medical Technology:

  1. -ac Relating to heart e.g Cardiac
  2. -blast, -blasto, -blastic Bud; Germ e.g Myeloblast
  3. -cyte, -cytic Cell e.g Thrombocyte
  4. -dynia Pain; Swelling e.g Thoracodynia
  5. -eal, -ial Relating to Esophageal
  6. -ectasis Expansion; Dilation e.g Atelectasis
  7. -emia Blood condition e.g Anemia
  8. -ia Condition e.g Hemophilia
  9. -iasis Condition; Formation of. e.g Psoriasis
  10. -ism Condition e.g Hypothyroidism
  11. -ites, -itis Inflammation e.g Gingivitis, Arthritis
  12. -ity Relating to Immunity e.g Immunity
  13. -ium Structure or tissue e.g Epithelium
  14. -lysis, -lytic Breakdown or Destruction or Dissolving e.g Osteolytic
  15. -malacia Softening e.g Osteomalacia
  16. -megaly Enlargement e.g Acromegaly
  17. -oid Resembling e.g Arachnoid
  18. -oma Tumor e.g Angiosarcoma
  19. -osis Condition; Usually abnormal e.g Endometriosis
  20. -ous Relating to Aqueous e.g Aqueous
  21. -pathy Disease e.g Lymphadenopathy
  22. -penia Deficiency; Lack of e.g Thrombocytopenia
  23. -phagia, -phagy Eating or Swallowing e.g Dysphagia
  24. -phasia Speech e.g Aphasia
  25. -plasia, -plastic Growth e.g Hyperplasia
  26. -plegia. Paralysis e.g Hemiplegia
  27. -pnea Breathing e.g Sleep apnea
  28. -poiesis Production e.g Hemopoiesis
  29. -ptosis Falling or Drooping e.g Apoptosis
  30. -rrhage, -rrhagic Bleeding e.g Hemorrhage
  31. -rrhea Flow or discharge e.g Diarrhea
  32. -sclerosis Hardening e.g Arteriosclerosis
  33. -sis Condition e.g Agranulocytosis
  34. -stasis Level; Unchanging e.g Homeostasis
  35. -trophy Growth e.g Hypertrophy
  36. -uria In the urine e.g Anuria

Common Roots In Medical Terminology

Below Are a Comprehensive List Of Common Roots And Their Meaning With Some Example As Used In Medical Technology:

  1. Abdomino = Abdomen e.g Abdominal Muscles
  2. Arterio = Artery e.g Arteriosclerosis
  3. Brachio = Arm e.g Brachial Pulse
  4. Bronch = Bronchus e.g Bronchitis
  5. Carcino = Cancer e.g Carcinogen
  6. Cardio = Heart e.g Cardiovascular
  7. Colo = Colon e.g Colonoscopy
  8. Cyto = Cell e.g Cytotoxic
  9. Derm/Dermato = Skin e.g Dermatologist
  10. Encephalo = Brain e.g Encephalitis
  11. Gastro = Stomach e.g Gastritis
  12. Intestino = Intestine e.g Intestinal Obstruction
  13. Myo = Muscle e.g Myocardium
  14. Neuro = Nerve e.g Neuron
  15. Oculo/Ophthalmo = Eye e.g Oculomotor
  16. Oto = Ear e.g Otoscope
  17. Pulmo = Lung e.g Pulmonologist
  18. Thoraco = Chest/Thorax e.g Thoracotomy
  19. Thyro = Thyroid Glands e.g Thyrotoxicosis
  20. Viscero = Viscera (Internal Organs) e.g Visceroceptors
  21. Histo/Histio = Tissue e.g Histology
  22. Nephro = Kidney e.g Nephrolithiasis
  23. Onco = Tumor/Mass e.g Oncogene, Oncology
  24. Osteo = Bone e.g Osteophyte
  25. Cranio = Skull e.g Craniotomy
  26. Adipo = Fat/Fatty Tissue e.g Adipose Tissue
  27. Adreno = Adrenal Gland e.g Adrenocortical
  28. Arthro/Articulo = Joint e.g Arthroscopy
  29. Cephalo = Head e.g Cephalocaudal
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Conclusion

The use of prefixes, roots, and suffixes in medical terminology is an age-long practice. It is therefore very ideal that every medical and health get familiarized with the common prefixes, roots, and suffixes used in medical terminology.

The easiest way to know the meaning of any medical terminology is to know all the common prefixes, roots, and suffixes used in medical terminology.

And if you are confused about which prefixes, roots, and suffixes, you don’t need to, just note that the beginning of the medical terminology is the prefix, and the middle of the medical terminology is the root, while the ending of the medical terminology is the suffix.

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