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Medical terminology is composed of a prefix, root word, and suffix:
Prefix: A prefix is placed at the beginning of a word to modify or change its meaning. Pre means "before." Prefixes may also indicate a location, number, or time.
Root: central part of a word.
Suffix: The ending part of a word that modifies the meaning of the word.
Additional resources:   [Intro to med terms] [Med terms rules] [Med term reference] [Word building reference]  [Practice Exams]

Alphabetical Listing (word building)

a b c d e f g h i j k l m
n o p q r s t u v w x y z

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Medical Terminology Reference

Use this reference to see how common medical terms are created using the various prefixes, suffixes, and root words.

keratoscope

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: kerat/o
1st Root Definition: cornea; hard; horny tissue
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -scope
Suffix Definition: instrument for visual examination
Definition: instrument used to evaluate the shape of the anterior surface
of the cornea

kinesthesia

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: kines/o
1st Root Definition: movement
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -esthesia
Suffix Definition: nervous sensation
Definition: sense that identifies bodily position; weight; movement of muscles,
tendons and joints

koilocyte

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: koil/o
1st Root Definition: hollow; concaved; depressed
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -cyte
Suffix Definition: cell
Definition: squamous epithelial cell that has gone through a number of
structural changes

kyphoscoliosis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: kyph/o
1st Root Definition: humpback
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -osis
Suffix Definition: condition, usually abnormal
Definition: combination of lateral and outward curvature of the spine
K