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Basic Word Structure

Combining Form/Meaning

TermDefinition
aden/o gland-(Adenoma: The suffix -oma means tumor or mass).
arthr/o joint- (arthritis)
bi/o life- (Biology: The suffix -logy is composed of the root log (study) and the final suffix -y (process or condition).
carcin/o cancerous, cancer-(Carcinoma: A carcinoma is a cancerous tumor. Carcinomas grow from the epithelial (surface or skin) cells that cover the outside of the body and line organs, cavities, and tubes within the body).
cardi/o heart-(cardiology)
cephal/p head-(Cephalic: (se˘-FA˘L-ı˘k) The suffix -ic means pertaining to. A cephalic presentation describes a “head first” position for the delivery of an infant).
cerebr/o cerebrum (largest part of the brain)
cis/o To cut; (incision-the prefix in- means into, and the suffix -ion means process).
crin/o to secrete (to form and give off), endocrine glands the prefix endo- means within; endocrine glands (e.g., thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands) secrete hormones directly within (into) the bloodstream.
cyst/o urinary bladder; a sac or a cyst (sac containing fluid)
cyt/o cell (blood cells)
derm/o skin (dermatitis)
electr/o Electricity- (electrocardiogram-the suffix -gram means record. Abbreviated ECG (or sometimes EKG).
encephal/o brain (electroencephalogram) Abbreviated EEG.
enter/o intestines-(usually the small intestine)
gastr/o Stomach: (gastrectomy-The suffix -ectomy means excision or removal. All or, more commonly, part of the stomach is removed).
glyc/o Sugar-(hyperglycemia -The prefix hyper- means excessive, above, or more than normal. The suffix -emia means blood condition).
gnos/o Knowledge-(diagnosis the prefix dia- means complete. The suffix -sis means state or condition of. A diagnosis is made after sufficient information has been obtained about the patient’s condition. Literally, it is a “state of complete knowledge").
gynec/o woman, female (gynecology)
hemat/o blood-(hematology)
hem/o Blood-(hematoma in this term, -oma means a mass or collection of blood, rather than a growth of cells (tumor). A hematoma forms when blood escapes from blood vessels and collects as a clot in a cavity or organ or under the skin).
hepat/o liver-(hepatitis)
iatr/o Treatment, physician-(iatrogenic the suffix -genic means pertaining to producing, produced by, or produced in. Iatrogenic conditions are adverse effects that result from treatment or intervention by a physician).
leuk/o white-(leukocyte-this blood cell helps the body fight disease).
log/o study of-(dermatology)
nephr/o kidney-(nephrology)
neur/o nerve-(neurology)
onc/o Tumor-(oncologist-the suffix -ist means one who specializes in a field of medicine (or other profession).
ophthalm/o Eye-(ophthalmoscope-(o˘f-THA˘L-mo¯-sko¯p) The suffix -scope means an instrument for visual examination. (To help with spelling, notice that just as there are two eyes, there are two “h”s in this term.)
oste/o Bone-osteoarthritis-(This condition of aging is actually a degeneration of bones and joints often accompanied by inflammation).
path/o disease-(pathology)
ped/o Child-(pediatric-notice that ped/o is also in the term orthopedist. Orthopedists once were doctors who straightened (orth/o means straight) children’s bones and corrected deformities).
psych/o Mind-(psychology)
radi/o X-ray-(radiology-Low-energy x-rays are used for diagnostic imaging).
ren/o Renal-(Ren/o (Latin) and nephr/o (Greek) both mean kidney).
rhin/o Nose-(rhinitis)
sarc/o Flesh-(sarcoma-this is a cancerous (malignant) tumor).
sect/o To cut-(resection-The prefix re- means back. A resection is a cutting back in the sense of cutting out or removal (excision). A gastric resection is a gastrectomy, or excision of the stomach.
thromb/o Clot, clotting-(thrombocyte Also known as platelets, these cells help clot blood).
ur/o Urinary tract, urineurology-(A urologist is a surgeon who operates on the organs of the urinary tract and the organs of the male reproductive system).
Created by: MissMeeMee