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medical root words
medical dictionary online

Many terms frequently used in science and medicine are derived from latin words. By combining the root words with, prefixes and suffixes many of the meanings of the terms can be deciphered.

Use the following resources to better understand medical terms:

Medical Roots or Stems
Prefixes commonly used in medical terms
Suffixes commonly used in medical terms

Glossary of Medical Root Words

acanth spine
acou hear
acro extremity, sharp
acu sharp, abrupt sudden
adeno gland
adipo fat
aero air
algo pain
ambi both sides
amnio bowl
amph both sides
andro male
angio vessel
ankyl bent, crooked
anthro man, human
artero artery (vessel carrying blood away from heart)
arthro joint
artic little joint
asthm sob, short of breath
atri entry chamber
axilla armpit
axo center
aud / aur / aus hear
auto self
aux make grow
bact rod
blast sprout
bleph eyelid
brachi arm
brady slow
bronch related to breathing
bucc cheeck
burs pocket
caes deep cut
calci limestone
calco heel, spur
calyc cup
campy bend
carbo charcoal, carbon
card(i) heart
carpo wrist
centesis puncture
centr center
ceph / cephal head
cept seize
cereb brain
cervic neck
chemo chemistry
chlor green
chol(e) bile
chondr cartilage
chron time
cise deep cut
cili eyelash
clast break
claustr barrier
coagul clot
cond hard knob
cox hip
corp physical body
crine secretion
cutis skin
cyan blue
cycl circle
cysto urinary, bladder
cyto cell
dacr tear
dacty fingers, digits
dens / dent tooth
derm skin
desis binding
dextro right
didym twin
digit finger, toes
dynia pain
echin spiny
ectasia dilation
edem(a) excess
enceph brain
entero intestine
erythro red
esthesia perception
fer carrying, bearing
flect / flex bend
fora / foro make a hole
fract / frag / fring break
gangl knot
gastr stomach
gen / genesis origin
genu knee
ger old
gest bring forth
gleno shoulder
glob sphere
gloss tongue
glute buttocks
gynec female
hem blood
hepat liver
hernia rupture
hidr sweat
histo tissue
hydro water
hypno sleep
hystero uterus
iatric healing
idio self
ject throw, send
junc / jug / jux join together
lachry tear
labio lip
lact(o) milk
latero side
lein spleen
levo left sided
liga bind together
lith stone
lumbo lower back
lysis breaking down
mal(i) bad
medulla soft inner part
mere part
manu hand
mast breast
melia limb
mnem / mnes memory
morb sick
morph shape
myo muscle
narco sleep
naso sleep
necro dead, decay
nephr kidney
neuro nerve
olfact smell
oma / onco tumor, lump, mass
op / opth eye
oro mouth
ortho straight
ost bone
partum birth
patho disease
pect chest
pes / ped foot
phage eat
phlebo vein
plantar sole of foot
pod foot
pre / pro before
procto rectum
pron face down
psyche spirit, mind
pulmo lung
punct prick, puncture
rhino nose
sang blood
sclero hard
sthen strength
stom mouth
tricho hair
trophy grow
vaso blood vessel
veno vein
vert turn
viscero innards




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