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Medical Terminology
 This page was last updated on 15-Jun-02

Main Menu / Study Aids / Medical Terminology
 Study Aids:
   Medical Terminology
W
hat does diarthrotic mean?  How about neuralgia?  Anatomical and medical terminology can be confusing, but if you learn the common prefixes and suffixes, you will be able to deduce the meaning of medical terms with ease!  This list of prefix and suffix definitions is helpful for A&P, as well as upper level nursing courses.  Print out this list to keep with your notes for reference when reading and studying for exams.

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Element
Definition
Element
Definition
a-
ab-
abdomin
-able
ac-
acou-
ad-
af-
alb-
-algia
ambi-
angi-
ante-
anti-
aque-
arch-
arthr-
-asis
aud-
auto-
bi-
bio-
blast-
brachi-
brachy-
brady-
bucc-
cac-
calc-
capit-
carcin-
cardi-
cata-
caud-
cephal-
cerebro-
chol-
chondr-
chrom-
-cide
circum-
co-
coel-
-coele
con-
contra-
corn-
corp-
crypt-
cyan-
cyst-
cyto-
absent, deficient, lack of (atrophy)
off, away from (absent)
relating to the abdomen (abdominal)
capable of (viable)
toward, to (actin)
hear (acoustic)
toward, to (adduct)
movement toward a central point
white (corpus albicans)
pain (neuralgia)
both (ambidextrous)
pertaining to vessels (angiology)
before, in front of (antebrachium)
against (anticoagulant)
water (aqueous)
beginning, origin (archenteron)
joint (arthritis)
condition or state of (homeostasis)
hearing, sound (auditory)
self (autolysis)
two (bipedal)
life (biopsy)
generative or germ bud (blastocyst)
arm (brachialis)
short (brachydont)
slow (bradycardia)
cheek (buccal cavity)
bad, ill (cachexia)
stone (calculus)
head (capitis)
cancer (carcinogenic)
heart (cardiac)
lower, under, against (catabolism)
tail (cauda equina)
head (cephalic)
brain (cerebrospinal fluid)
bile (cholic)
cartilage (chondrocyte)
color (chromocyte)
destroy (germicide)
around (circumduct)
together (copulation)
hollow cavity (coelom)
swelling, enlarged space or cavity
with, together (cogenital)
against, opposite (contraception)
denoting hardness (cornified)
body (corpus)
hidden (cryptorchidism)
blue (cyanosis)
sac or bladder (cystoscope)
cell (cytology)
de-
derm-
di-
dipl-
dis-
duct-
dur-
dys-
e-
ec-
-ectomy
ede-
-emia
en-
enter-
epi-
erythro-
ex-
exo-
extra-
fasci-
febr-
-ferent
fiss-
for-
-form
gastro-
-gen
-genic
gloss-
glyco-
-gram
gran-
-graph
gravi-
gyn-
haplo-
hem(at)-
hemi-
hepat-
hetero-
histo-
holo-
homo-
hydro-
hyper-
hypo-
-ia
-iatrics
idio-
ilio-
infra-
down, from (descent)
skin (dermatology)
two (diarthrotic)
double (diploid)
apart, away from (disarticulate)
lead, conduct (ductus deferens)
hard (dura mater)
bad, difficult, painful (dysentery)
out, from (eccrine)
outside, outer, external (ectoderm)
surgical removal (tonsillectomy)
swelling (edema)
pertaining to a condition of the blood
within (endoderm)
intestine (enteritis)
upon, over (epidermis)
red (erythrocyte)
out of (excise)
outside (exocrine)
outside of, in addition (extracellular)
band (fascia)
fever (febrile)
bear, carry (efferent)
split (fissure)
opening (foramen)
shape (fusiform)
of the stomach (gastrointestinal)
an agent that produces (pathogen)
producing (carcinogenic)
tongue (glossopharyngeal)
sugar (glycosuria)
a record(ing) (electroencephalogram)
grain, particle (granulosa cells)
recording instrument (telegraph)
heavy (gravid)
female sex (gynecology)
simple or single (haploid)
blood (hematology)
half (hemiplagia)
liver (hepatic portal)
other, different (heterosexual)
web, tissue (histology)
whole, entire (holocrine)
same, alike (homologous)
water (hydrocoel)
above, excessive (hypertension)
under, below (hypoglycemia)
abnormal state (hypoglycemia)
medical specialties (pediatrics)
self, separate (idiopathic)
ilium (iliosacral)
beneath (infraspinatus)

















































Element
Definition
Element
Definition
inter-
intra-
-ion
-ism
iso-
-itis
labi-
lacri-
later-
leuk-
lip-
-logy
-lysis
macro-
mal-
medi-
mega-
meso-
meta-
micro-
mito-
mono-
morph-
multi-
myo-
narc-
necro-
neo-
nephr-
neuro-
noto-
ob-
oc-
-oid
oligo-
-oma
oo-
or-
orchi-
ortho-
-ory
-ose
osteo-
oto-
ovo-
par-
para-
path-
-pathy
ped-
pen-
-penia
per-
peri-
phag-
-phil
phleb-
-phobia
-plasty
among, between (interosseus)
inside, within (intracellular)
process (acromion)
condition or state (dimorphism)
equal, like (isotonic)
inflammation (meningitis)
lip (labium majus)
tears (lacrimal apparatus)
side (lateral)
white (leukocyte)
fat (lipid)
science of (morphology)
solution, dissolve (hemolysis)
large, great (macrophage)
bad, abnormal, disorder (malignant)
middle (medial)
great, large (megakaryocyte)
middle or moderate (mesoderm)
after, beyond (metatarsal)
small (microtome)
thread (mitochondrion)
alone, one, single (monocyte)
form, shape (morphology)
many, much (multinuclear)
muscle (myology)
numbess, stupor (narcotic)
corpse, dead (necrosis)
new, young (neonatal)
kidney (nephritis)
nerve (neurolemma)
back (notochord)
against, in front of (obturator)
against (occlusion)
resembling, likeness (sigmoid)
few, small (oligodendrocyte)
tumor (lymphoma)
egg (oocyte)
mouth (oral)
testis (orchiectomy)
straight, normal (orthopnea)
pertaining to (sensory)
full of (adipose)
bone (osteoblast)
ear (otolith)
egg (ovum)
give birth to, bear (parturition)
near, beyond, beside (paranasal)
disease (pathology)
abnormality, disease (neuropathy)
children (pediatrician)
need, lack (penicillin)
deficiency (thrombocytopenia)
through (percutaneous)
near, around (pericardium)
to eat (phagocyte)
have an affinity for (neutrophil)
vein (phlebitis)
abnormal fear, dread (hydrophobia)
reconstruction of (rhinoplasty)
platy-
-plegia
-pnea
pneumo(n)-
pod-
-poiesis
poly-
post-
pre-
pro-
proct-
pseudo-
psycho-
pyo-
quad-
re-
rect-
ren-
rete-
retro-
rhin-
-rrhagia
-rrhea
sanguin-
sarc-
-scope
-sect
semi-
-sis
steno-
-stomy
sub-
super-
supra-
syn- (sym-)
tachy-
tele-
tens-
tetra-
therm-
thorac-
thrombo-
-tomy
tox-
tract-
trans-
tri-
trich-
-trophy
-tropic
ultra-
uni-
-uria
uro-
vas-
viscer-
vit-
zoo-
zygo-
flat, side (platysma)
stroke, paralysis (paraplegia)
to breathe (apnea)
lung (pneumonia)
foot (podiatry)
formation of (hemopoiesis)
many, much (polyploid)
after, behind (postnatal)
before in time or place (prenatal)
before in time or place (prophase)
anus (proctology)
false (pseudostratified)
mental (psychology)
pus (pyorrhea)
fourfold (quadriceps femoris)
back, again (repolarization)
straight (rectus abdominus)
kidney (renal)
network (rete testis)
backward, behind (retroperitoneal)
nose (rhinitis)
excessive flow (menorrhagia)
flow or discharge (diarrhea)
blood (sanguineous)
flesh (sarcoma)
instrument (stethoscope)
cut (dissect)
half (semilunar)
process or action (dialysis)
arrow (stenosis)
surgical opening (tracheostomy)
under, below (subcutaneous)
above, upper (superficial)
above, over (suprarenal)
together, joined, with (synapse)
swift, rapid (tachycardia)
far (telencephalon)
stretch (tensor tympani)
four (tetrad)
heat (thermogram)
chest (thoracic cavity)
lump, clot (thrombocyte)
cut (appendectomy)
poison (toxemia)
draw, drag (traction)
across, over (transfuse)
three (trigone)
hair (trichology)
nutritional state (hypertrophy)
turning to, changing (gonadotropic)
beyond, excess (ultrasonic)
one (unicellular)
urine (polyuria)
urine, urinary organs/tract (uroscope)
vessel (vasoconstriction)
organ (visceral)
life (vitamin)
animal (zoology)
union, join (zygote)

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