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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

Complete Glossary of Medical Root Words

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sacro-iliac joint synovial joint between the ilium and the lateral aspect of the upper sacral vertebrae
saline solution containing sodium chloride
saliva mixture of water, protein, and salts that makes food easy to swallow; begins digestion
salpingectomy surgical removal of one or both fallopian tubes
saturated fat fat found in foods from animal, skin, dairy and some vegetables
scapula shoulder blade
sciatica traditionally defined as pain in the sciatic nerve, that is caused by pressure or irritation
scotoma partial or complete loss of vision surrounded by an area of normal vision

hormone that causes stomach to make pepsin, liver to make bile and pancreas to make digestive juices

septal defect hole in the wall of the heart
septum muscle wall that divides the heart chambers
serum clear fluid that separates when blood clots
shunt connector that allows blood flow between two locations
sialorrhea drooling
sigmoid colon lower part of the colon that empties into the rectum
small intestine organ where most of the digestion occurs; measures about 20 feet includes the duodenum, jejunum and ileum
smooth muscle muscle that performs automatic tasks, such as constricting blood vessels
soft tissue typically the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the musculoskelatel system
spasm a conidition in which a muscle or group of muscles involuntarily contract
sphincter ring like band of muscle that opens and closes an opening in the body
spine a column in the body consisting of 33 vertebrae
spirogram record of the amounts of air being moved in and out of the lungs
spleen organ lying between the stomach and diaphragm that stores red blood cells and filters blood
splenectomy surgical removal of the spleen
spondylosis condition of the spine involving a degenerative process
sputum mucous from the lungs
steatorrhea condition in which the body cannot absorb fat
stenosis the narrowing or constriction of a blood vessel or a valve in the heart
sternum the breastbone
stoma opening in the abdomen that is created by an operation
stomach main organ of digestion which lies between the esophagus and the small intestine
streptokinase a clot dissolving medication
stress fracture fracture caused by non-traumatic, cumulative overload on a bone.
superior vena cava large vein that returns blood to the heart from the head and arms




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