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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.

salpingectomy

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: salping/o
1st Root Definition: fallopian tube
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ectomy
Suffix Definition: removal; excision; resection
Definition: surgical removal; excision; resection of the fallopian tube

sarcoma

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: sarc/o
1st Root Definition: flesh (connective tissue)
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -oma
Suffix Definition: tumor; mass; fluid collection
Definition: cancerous tumor of connective tissue

scleroderma

Prefix: sclero-
Prefix Definition: hard; hardening
1st Root Word:
1st Root Definition:
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -derma
Suffix Definition: skin
Definition: hardening and tightening of the skin

scoliosis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: scoli/o
1st Root Definition: crooked; bent
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -osis
Suffix Definition: condition, usually abnormal
Definition: abnormal condition of a bent; curved spine

sinusitis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: sinus/o
1st Root Definition: sinus
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -itis
Suffix Definition: inflammation
Definition: inflammation of the sinus

sociopath

Prefix: socio-
Prefix Definition: social; society
1st Root Word: path/o
1st Root Definition: disease
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix:
Suffix Definition:
Definition: mental disorder of having extreme antisocial behavior

somatic

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: somat/o
1st Root Definition: body
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ic
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to the body

sonography

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: son/o
1st Root Definition: sound
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -graphy
Suffix Definition: process of recording
Definition: process of recording sound waves

spermatogenesis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: spermat/o
1st Root Definition: spermatozoa; sperm cells
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -genesis
Suffix Definition: producing; forming
Definition: producing mature spermatozoa

splenectomy

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: splen/o
1st Root Definition: spleen
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ectomy
Suffix Definition: removal; excision; resection
Definition: surgical removal; excision; resection of the spleen

spondylitis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: spondyl/o
1st Root Definition: vertebra (backbone)
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -itis
Suffix Definition: inflammation
Definition: inflammation of the joints of the vertebra

stenography

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: sten/o
1st Root Definition: narrowed; constricted
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -graphy
Suffix Definition: process of recording
Definition: process of recording words in shorthand

stethoscope

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: steth/o
1st Root Definition: chest
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -scope
Suffix Definition: instrument for visual examination
Definition: instrument for visual examination of the chest

stomatodynia

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: stomat/o
1st Root Definition: mouth
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -dynia
Suffix Definition: pain
Definition: mouth pain

subcutaneous

Prefix: sub-
Prefix Definition: under; below
1st Root Word: cutane/o
1st Root Definition: skin
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ous
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to below the skin

submucosa

Prefix: sub-
Prefix Definition: under; below
1st Root Word: mucos/o
1st Root Definition: mucous membrane
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix:
Suffix Definition:
Definition: connective tissue under the mucous membrane

syndrome

Prefix: syn-
Prefix Definition: together; with
1st Root Word:
1st Root Definition:
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -drome
Suffix Definition: to run
Definition: simultaneous symptoms that depict a disease or condition

Navigation

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