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Simply Put: Words
Prefixes
Prefix
Root Word
Combining vowel
Combining form
Suffix
 Many if not most of these terms usually have Latin
or Greek origins.
 The Latin form is used to describe or modify
something, as in an adjective
 Ren/o means kidney and is used in the terms renal
disease and renal tubule.
 The Greek form is used to describe a
pathological finding.
 Nephr/o means kidney and is used in the terms
nephritis and nephropathy.
 DIRECTIONAL PREFIXES
 CONTRASTING PREFIXES
 Epi Extra-
upper, above
outside
 Hyper-
above,increase
more than normal
 Hypo-
below, under,
decreased
 Infra-
below, beneath
 Inter Intra Meta Per Sub-
between
within
beyond
through
below, under,
decreased
 Super-
above, increased, more
than normal
 Supra-
above, increased more
than normal
across
 Trans Ultra-
above, increased, more
than normal
ULTRA- SUPRASUPER- HYPER-
EPI-
INTER-
INTRA-
TRANS-
INFRA-
SUBHYPO-
EXTRA-
 Transcontinental
 Extraterristrial
 Intercellular
 Epicenter
 Hypothermia
 Hyperactive
 Infrastructure
 Subzero
Trans | continental
Extra | terrestrial
Inter | cellular
Epi | center
Hypo | thermia
Hyper | active
Infra | structure
sub | zero
 Translocate
 Hypothyroid
 Hyperthyroid
 Supranatural
 Intranasal
 Superimposed
 Perennial
trans | locate
hypo | thyroid
hyper | thyroid
supra | natural
intra | nasal
super | imposed
per | ennial
(through the years-year
after year)
 HYPO HYPER-
 INFRA SUB HYPO-
 Ab Ad Dys-
away from
toward
ab|duction
ad|duction
 Eu-
difficult, painful, bad
good, easy, normal
dys|phagia
eu|thyroid
 Endo-
within or inside
endo|parasite
 Ex-
 Exo Ecto-
without, out of, outside, away from
 Poly Oligo-
 Pre-
many, excessive
scant, very little
poly|uria
olig|uria
 Post-
before
around
after
pre|operative
peri|operative
post|operative
 Anti-
against
anti|emetic (vomiting)
 A-
without, no
a|traumatic
 An-
without, no
an|uria
 Peri-
 Brady Tachy-
slow
fast
 Mal-
bad
 Leuk-
white
 Bi-
twice, two, double
 Di-
 http://www.globalrph.com/medterm6b.htm
My favorite go to website for medical prefixes, roots,
suffixes
 A root is a word part that gives the essential meaning
of the word
 Root words may need a combing vowel, usually an “o”
which usually makes the word easier to pronounce
 “i” and “e’ may also be used
 The root word plus the combining vowel makes up the
combining form
 Often written (and pronounced)
 Ren/o
 Gastr/o
 Cardi/o
 Rule 1:
 When the suffix or next word part begins with a
consonant use a combining vowel
 Arthr/o and –scope = Arthroscope
 Rule 2:
 Don’t need a combining vowel if the suffix starts with a
vowel
 Gastr/o and –itis = gastritis
 Rule 3:
 A combining vowel is used when two or more root words
are joined together
 Gastr/o and enter/o and –it is = gastroenteritis
 Gastroenterits
 Nasolabial
 Colorectal
 Most medical root words or combining forms usually
describe a part of the body
 Py/o Pneum/o-
 Derm/o Aden/o Bucc/o
 Cyt/o
pus
lungs, air
skin
gland
cheek
cell
 Cyst/o Nephr/o Ren/o-
bladder
kidney
kidney
 My/o Arthr/o Chondr/o Axill/o Oste/o Cost/o
muscle
joint
cartilage
armpit
bone
ribs
 Cephal/o Encephal/o Cervic/o
 Crani/o Pod/o-
head
brain
neck
skull
foot
 Thorac/o Cardi/o Ven/o Arteri/o
 Hem/a-
chest
heart
vein
artery
blood
 Opth/o Ot/o Rhin/o Nas/o-
eye
ear
nose
nose
 Gastr/o Lapar/o
 Enter/o Col/o Hep/a Pancreat/o
 Splen/o-
stomach
abdominal wall
intestine (small intestine)
colon (large intestine)
liver
pancreas
spleen
 Neur/o Myel/o-
nerve
spinal cord
 Or/o
 Stomat/o
 Gloss/o
 Labi/o
mouth
mouth
tongue
lips
 Xanth/o
 Zo/o
 Xanthinuria - ?
yellow
animal life
 Anatomy
 study of body structure
 Physiology
 study of body function
 Pathology
 study of the nature, causes, and development of
abnormal conditions
 Etiology
 study of disease
The suffix -logy means the study of.
 -plasia describes formation, development, and
growth of tissue and cell numbers.
 -trophy describes formation, development, and
increased size of tissue and cells.
 Neoplasia = any abnormal growth of tissue in which
multiplication of cells is uncontrolled, more rapid than
normal, and progressive
 Tumor: a distinct mass of tissue formed
from a neoplasm (-oma means tumor
or neoplasm)
 benign: not recurring
 malignant: tending to spread and become life-
threatening
 Prefixes used to describe tissue growth:
 a- = without
 hypo- = less than normal
 hyper- = more than normal
 dys- = bad
 ana- = without
 neo- = new
 Anaplasa: change in the structure of cells and
their orientation to each other
 Aplasa: lack of development of an organ or
tissue or cell
 Dysplasia: abnormal growth or development of
an organ or tissue or cell
 Hyperplasia: abnormal increase in the number
of normal cells in normal arrangement in an
organ or tissue or cell
 Hypoplasia: incomplete or less than normal
development of an organ or tissue or cell
 Atrophy: decrease in size or complete wasting of an
organ or tissue or cell
 Dystrophy: defective growth in the size of an organ or
tissue or cell
 Hypertrophy: increase in size of an organ or tissue or
cell
• Aden/o means gland.
– Exocrine glands secrete material into ducts.
• Exo- means out; crine means to secrete.
– Endocrine glands secrete chemicals into the bloodstream for
transportation to organs and other structures throughout the
body.
• Endo- means within; crine means to secrete.
 An organ is a part of the body that performs a special
function or functions.
 Each organ has its own combining form or forms.
 See Table 2–2.
 These combining forms usually have Latin or Greek
origins.
1.
The prefix___________means below.
The prefix _________________means across.
a)
b)
c)
d)
SupraSuperInterSub-
a)
b)
c)
d)
MetaInfraTrans
Ultra-
2. The prefix ___________means beyond.
The prefix________________means between.
a)
b)
c)
d)
HypoHyperMetaPer-
a)
b)
c)
d)
InfraIntraInterEpi-
 The prefix _________means many.
oligan-
polyeu-
 The prefix ___________means outside, while the
prefix ___________means inside.
pre-, postendo-, exohyper-, hypointer-, intra-
 Which prefix means around?
epiperi-
suprameta-
 Which prefix means very little or scant?
antioligo-
perian-
 Anuria
 Polyuria
 Oliguria
 What is the prefix in each word above and what does
each word mean?
True or False?
 Cardio- means bladder
 Rhin0- means muscle
 Arthro- means joint
 Hepa-means liver
 Hema-means kidney
 Nephro- means liver
 Osteo- means bone
 Hepatic Lipidosis is a fatty ____________.
 Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the _____________.
 Nephrotoxixity is a poisonous effect on the _________.

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