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Back To Basics Verbal Derivatives From Greek & Latin


In medical terminology, many verbs or combining forms of verbs are derived from either Greek or Latin. These verbs may be added to other root words to form words or prefixes and suffixes may be added to them to form words.

Root Meaning Examples
Algia Pain Cardialgia (heart); gastralgia (stomach); neuralgia (nerve)
Audi,
audio
Hear, hearing Audiometer (measure); audiophone (voice instrument for deaf )
Bio Live Biology (study of living); biostatistics (vital statistics); biogenesis (origin)
Cau,
caus
Burn Caustic (suffix added to make adjective); cauterization; causalgia (burning pain); electrocautery
Centesis Puncture, perforate Thoracocentesis (chest); pneumocentesis (lung); arthrocentesis (joint); enterocentesis (intestine)
Clas, claz Smash, break Osteoclasis (bone); odontoclasis (tooth)
Duct Draw Ductal (suffix added to make adjective); oviduct (egg­uterine tube or fallopian tube); periductal (per means around); abduct (prefix meaning lead away from)
Dynia Pain Mastodynia (breast); pleurodynia (chest); esophagodynia (esophagus); coccygodynia (coccyx)
Ecta,
ectas
Dilate Venectasia(dilation of vein); cardioectasis (heart); ectatic (suffix added for adjective)
Edem Swell Myo ­ edema (muscle); lymphedema (lymph);(a is a suffix added to make a noun)
Esthes Feel Esthesia (suffix added to make noun); anesthesia (an is prefix)
Fiss split Fissure; fission (suffixes added to make nouns)
Flex,
flec
Bend Flexion (suffix added to make noun); flexor (suffix added); anteflect, (prefix added meaning before ­ bending forward)
Flu, Flux Flow Fluctuate; fluxion; affluent (abundant flowing)
Geno,
genesis
Produce, origin Genotype; homogenesis (same origin); pathogenesis (disease ­ origin of disease); heterogenesis (prefix added, meaning other ­ alteration of generation)
Iatro, iatr Treat, cure Geriatrics (old age); pediatrics (children)
Kine,
kino,
kineto,
kinesio
Move Kinetogenic (producing movement); kinetic (suffix added to make adjective); kinesiology (study)
Liga Bind Ligament (suffix added to make noun) ligat ligature
Logy Study Parasitology (parasites); bacteriology (bacteria); histology (tissues)
Lysis Breaking up, dissolving Hemolysis (blood); glycolysis (sugar); autolysis (self­destruction of cells)
Morph,
morpho
Form Morphology; amorphous (no definite form); pleomorphic (more ­ occurring in various forms polymorphic (many)
Olfact Smell Olfactophobia (fear); olfactory (suffix added to make adjective)
Op,
opto
See Amblyopia (dull ­ dimness of vision); presbyopia (old ­ impairment of vision in old age); optic; myopia (myein, meaning shut ­ nearsighted)
Palpit Flutter Palpitation
Par,
partus
Labor Postpartum (after birth); parturition (act of giving birth); para i, ii, iii, iv, etc., are symbols of number of births
Pep Digest Dyspepsia (bad, difficult); peptic (suffix added to make adjective)
Pexy Fix Mastopexy (fixation of breast); nephrosplenopexy (surgical fixation of kidney and spleen
Phag,
phago
Eat Phagocytosis (eating of cells); phagomania (madness ­ mad craving for food or eating dysphagia (difficult eating or swallowing)
Phan,
phas
Appear visible, Phanerosis (act of becoming visible); phantasia; phantasy; phasmophobia (fear of ghosts)
Phas Speak, utter Aphasia (unable to speak); dysphasia (difficulty in speaking)
Phil Like, love Hemophilia (blood ­ a hereditary disease characterized by delayed clotting of blood); acidophilia (acid stain ­ liking or staining with acid stains); philanthropy (love of mankind)
Phobia Fear Hydrophobia (fear of water); photophobia (fear of light); claustrophobia (fear of close places
Phrax,
phrag
Fence off, wall off Diaphragm (across ­ partition separating thorax from abdomen); phragmoplast (formed)
Plas Form, grow Neoplasm (new growth); rhinoplasty (nose ­ operation for formation of nose); otoplasty (ear); choledochoplasty (common bile duct)
Plegia Paralyze Paraplegia (paralysis of lower limbs); ophthalmoplegia (eye); hemiplegia (partial paralysis)
Pne,
pneo
Breathe Dyspnea (difficult breathing); apnea (lack of breathing); hyperpnea. (overbreathing)
Poie Make Hematopoiesis (blood); erythropoiesis (red blood cells); leukopoiesis ( ' white blood cells)
Ptosis Fall Proctoptosis (anus ­ prolapse of anus); splanchnoptosis (viscera)
Rrhagia Burst forth, pour Menorrhagia (abnormal bleeding during menstruation); menometrorrhagia (abnormal uterine bleeding); hemorrhage (blood)
Rrhaphy Suture Herniorrhaphy (suturing or repair of hernia); hepatorrhaphy (Jiver); nephrorrhaphy (kidney)
Rrhea Flow, discharge Leukorrhea (white discharge from vagina); galactorrhea (milk discharge); rhinorrhea (nasal discharge)
Rrhexis Rupture Enterorrhexis (intestines); metrorrhexis (uterus)
Schiz Split, divide Schizophrenia (mind ­ split personality); schizonychia (nails); schizotrichia (hair)
Scope Examine Microscopic; cardioscope; endoscope (endo means within ­ an instrument for examining the interior of a hollow viscus)
Stasis Stop, stand still Hematostatic (pertaining to stagnation of blood);epistasis (checking or stopping of any discharge)
Stazien Drop Epistaxis (nosebleed)
Teg,
tect
Cover Tegmen; tectum (rooflike structure); integument (skin covering)
Therap Treat, cure Therapy; neurotherapy (nerves); chemotherapy (chemicals); physiotherapy
Tomy Cut, incise Phlebotomy (incision of vein); arthrotomy (joint); appendectomy (ectomy, meaning cut out ­ excision of appendix); oophorectomy (excision of ovary); ileocecostomy (ostomy, meaning creation of an artificial opening, and os, pertaining to opening or mouth ­ thus, an anastomosis of ileum and cecum)
Topo Place Topography;. toponarcosis (numbing ­ hence, numbing of a part, or localized anesthesia
Tropho Nourish Hypertrophy (enlargement or overnourishment); atrophy (under­nourishment); dystrophy (difficult or bad)
Volv Turn Involution; volvulus (twisting of an organ, intestinal obstruction with twisting of bowel, or twisting of the esophagus)

The list below covers just a few areas of interest that are, in fact, the foundations for learning the language of medicine - medical terminology.

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