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

Main Menu / Study Aids / Scientific Terminology
 Study Aids:
 Scientific Terminology
A
s with medical terminology, knowing root words, prefixes and suffixes is invaluable for  understanding and learning science terminology.   By knowing the common prefixes and suffixes, you will be able to deduce the meaning of scientific terms with ease!  This list of
prefix and suffix definitions is helpful for biology courses, and has some crossover into other sciences.  Print out this list to keep with your notes for reference when reading and studying
 for exams.

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Medical Abbreviations
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GENDER RULES (LATIN SUFFIXES)
Feminine
Masculine
Neuter
Singular:
-a
-us
-um
Plural:
-ae
-i
-a
Examples:
alga,
fungus,
bacterium,
algae
fungi
bacteria

Element
Definition
Element
Definition
a-
-able
actino-
aer-
albo-
ameb-
amphi-
amyl-
an-
ana-
ant-
anti-
archae-
asco-
aur-
aut-
auto-
bacillo-
basid-
bdell-
bio-
blast-
bovi-
brevi-
butyr-
campylo-
carcin-
caryo-
caseo-
caul-
cerato-
chlamydo-
chloro-
chrom-
chryso-
-cide
cili-
cleisto-
co-
con-
cocci-
coeno-
col-
colo-
conidio-
coryne-
-cul
-cut
cyano-
cyst-
cyt-
de-
di-
diplo-
dia-
dys-
ec-
ex-
ecto-
en-
em-
entero-
eo-
epi-
erythro-
eu-
exo-
extra-
firmi-
flagell-
flav-
fruct-
-fy
galacto-
gamet-
gastr-
gel-
-gen
-genesis
germ-
germin-
-gony
gracili-
halo-
haplo-
hema-
hemato-
hemo-
hepat-
herpes
hetero-
hist-
hom-
homo-
hydr-
hydro-
hyper-
hypo-
im-
inter-
intra-
io-
iso-
-itis
karyo-
kin-
lacti-
lepis-
lepto-
leuko-
lip-
lipo-
-logy
lopho-
luc-
luci-
lute-
luteo-
-lysis
macro-
absent, lack (abiotic)
able to, capable of (viable)
ray (actinomycetes)
air (aerobic)
white (streptomyces albus)
change (ameboid)
around (amphitrichous)
starch (amylase)
absent, lack of (anaerobic)
up (anabolism)
opposed to (antimicrobial)
opposed to (antimicrobial)
ancient (archaeobacteria)
bag (ascus)
gold (staphylococcus aureus)
self (automorph)
self (automorph)
a little stick (bacillus)
base, pedestal (basidium)
leech (bdellovibrio)
life (biology)
bud (blastospore)
cattle (mycobacterium bovis)
short (lactobacillus brevis)
butter (butyric acid)
curved (campylobacter)
cancer (carcinogen)
a nut (eukaryote)
cheese (caseous)
a stalk (caulobacter)
hron (keratin)
covering (chlamydospores)
green (chlorophyll)
color (chromosome)
golden (streptomyces chryseus)
killing (bactericide)
eyelash (cilia)
closed (cleistothecium)
together (concentric)
together (concentric)
berry (coccus)
shared (coenocyte)
colon (escherichia coli)
colon (escherichia coli)
dust (conidia)
club (corynebacterium)
small form (particle)
the skin (firmicutes)
blue (cyanobacteria)
bladder (cystitis)
cell (cytology)
undoing, removal (deactivation)
twice, double (diphlococci)
twice, double (diphlococci)
through, between (diaphragm)
difficult, faulty (dysfunction)
outside, away from (excrete)
outside, away from (excrete)
outside, away from (excrete)
in, inside (encysted)
in, inside (encysted)
intestine (enterobacter)
dawn, early (eobacterium)
upon, over (epidemic)
red (erythema)
well, proper (eukaryote)
outside, outer layer (exogenous)
outside, beyond (extracellular)
strong (bacillus firmus)
a whip (flagellum)
yellow (flavobacterium)
fruit (fructose)
to make (magnify)
milk (galactose)
to marry (gamete)
stomach (gastritis)
to stiffen (gel)
an agent that initiates (pathogen)
formation (pathogenesis)
bud (germ)
bud (germ)
reproduction (schizogony)
thin (aquaspirillum gracile)
salt (halophile)
one, single (haploid)
blood (haemophilus)
blood (haemophilus)
blood (haemophilus)
liver (hepatitis)
creeping (herpes)
different, other (heterotroph)
tissue (histology)
same (homofermenter)
same (homofermenter)
water (dehydration)
water (dehydration)
excess (hypertonic)
below, deficient (hypotonic)
not, in (impermeable)
between (intercellular)
within, inside (intracellular)
violet (iodine)
equal, same (isotonic)
inflammation of (colitis)
a nut (eukaryote)
movement (streptokinase)
milk (lactose)
scaly (leprosy)
thin (leptospira)
whiteness (leukocyte)
fat, lipid (lipase)
fat, lipid (lipase)
the study of (pathology)
tuft (lophotrichous)
light (luciferin)
light (luciferin)
yellow (micrococcus luteus)
yellow (micrococcus luteus)
break down (hydrolysis)
largeness (macromolecules)
medosi-
meningo-
meso-meta-
micro-
-mnesia
molli-
-monas
mono-
morpho-
multi-
mur-
muri-
mus-
mut-
myco-
-mycetoma
-myces
myxo-
necro-
-nema
nigr-
ob-
oculo-
-oecium
-ecium
-oid
oligo-
-oma
-ont
ortho-
-osis
pan-
para-
peri-
phaeo-
phago-
-phil
philo-
-phore
-phyll
-phyte
pil-
plankto-
plast-
-pnea
-pnoea
pod-
poly-
post-
pre-
pro-
pseudo-
psychro-
-ptera
pyo-
rhabdo-
rhin-
rhizo-
rhodo-
rod-
rubri-
rumin-
saccharo-
sapr-
sacro-
schizo-
scolec-
-scope
-scopic
semi-
sept-
septo-
serr-
sidero-
siphon-
-sis
soma-
speci-
spiro-
sporo-
staphylo-
-stasis
strepto-
sub-
super-
sym-
syn-
-taxi
taxis-
tener-
thallo-
therm-
thio-
-thrix
-tome
-tomy
-tone
-tonic
tox-
trans-
tri-
trich-
-trope
-troph
-ty
undul-
uni-
vaccin-
vacu-
vesic-
vitr-
-vorous
xantho-
xeno-
xero-
xylo-
zoo-
zygo-
-zyme
faculty (mendosicutes)
membrane (meningitis)
middle (mesophile)
beyond, transition (metabolism)
smallness (microscope)
memory (amnesia)
soft (mollicutes)
a unit (methylomonas)
singleness (monotrichous)
form (morphology)
many (multinuclear)
wall (murein)
mouse (murine typhus)
mouse (murine typhus)
to change (mutation)
a fungus (saccharomyces)
a fungus (saccharomyces)
a fungus (saccharomyces)
slime, mucus (myxobacteriales)
a corpse (necrosis)
a thread (treponema)
black (aspergillus niger)
before, against (obstruction)
eye (monocular)
a house (perithecium)
a house (perithecium)
like, resembling (coccoid)
small, few (oligiosaccharide)
tumor (lymphoma)
being, existing (schizont)
straight, direct (orthomyxovirus)
condition of (lysis)
all, universal (pandemic)
beside, neat (parasite)
around (peritrichous)
brown (phaeophyta)
eat (phagocyte)
liking, preferring (thermophile)
liking, preferring (thermophile)
bears, carries (conidiophore)
leaf (chlorophyll)
plant (saprophyte)
a hair (pilus)
wandering, roaming (plankton)
formed (plastid)
breathing (dyspnea)
breathing (dyspnea)
foot (pseudopod)
many (polymorphism)
after, behind (posterior)
before, ahead of (prokaryote)
before, ahead of (prokaryote)
flase (pseudopod)
cold (psychrophile)
wing (diptera)
pus (pyogenic)
stick, rod (rhabdovirus)
nose (rhinitis)
root (rhizobium)
red (rhodospirillum)
gnaws (rodents)
red (clostridiium rubrum)
throat (ruminococcus)
sugar (disaccharide)
rotten (saprolegnia)
flesh (sarcoma)
split (schizomycetes)
worm (scolex)
watcher (microscope)
watcher (microscope)
half (semicircular)
rottig (septic)
partition (septum)
notched (serrate)
iron (siderococcus)
tube (siphoaptera)
condition of (lysis)
body (somatic cells)
particular things (species)
coil (spirochete)
spore (sporangium)
grapelike cluster (staphylococcus)
arrest, fixation (bacteriostatis)
twisted (streptococcus)
beneath, under (subcutaneous)
above, upon (superior)
together, with (synapse)
together, with (synapse)
to touch (chemotaxis)
orderly arrangement (taxonomy)
tender (tenericutes)
plant body (thallus)
heat (thermophile)
sulfur (thiobacillus)
a hair (peritrichous)
to cut (appendectomy)
to cut (appendectomy)
strength (hypotonic)
strength (hypotonic)
poison (antitoxin)
across, through (transport)
three (trimester)
a hair (peritrichous)
turning (geotropic)
food, nourishment (trophic)
condition of, state (immunity)
wavy (undulating)
one (unicellular)
cow (vaccination)
empty (vacuoles)
bladder (vesicle)
glass (in vitro)
eat (carnivore)
yellow (xanthomonas)
strange (axenic)
dry (xerophyte)
wood (xylose)
animal (zoology
yoke, joining (zygospore)
ferment (enzyme)









































































































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