Human Anatomy & Physiology: Latin and Greek Word-Part List (prefixes, suffixes, roots) Students of any biology course should learn to recognize the meaning of word parts as they often give clues to the meaning of a scientific term, function, or process. Science terminology is predominately based in the Latin and Greek languages.
The following list of prefixes, suffixes, and roots will be used in this and most Biology (bio = life, logy = study of) courses.
To help with pronunciation, word parts need to be linked together. The linkage for many word parts is “o”. For example, linking the root “cardi” with the suffix “-pathy” would make the word difficult to pronounce; therefore an “o” is used to link the root with the suffix. The completed word is written “cardiopathy” and pronounced kar-de-op-ah-the (heart disease).
Accurate spelling of each work is also important. Changing one letter may change the word part and its meaning. Examples include: “ileum” is a part of the small intestine & “ilium” is a bone in the hips, “ped” refers to the foot & “pedia” refers to children, “ab” means away & “ad” means toward. Finding a word in a dictionary, glossary, or index requires a knowledge of spelling – at least the beginning of a word. For example, pneumonia and psychology have a silent “p”.
By the end of this course you should be able to: (1) Understand the importance of medical terminology and how it can be incorporated into the study of the human body, (2) Differentiate between a prefix, suffix, word root, and a compound term, (3) Link word parts to form medical terms, (4) Differentiate between singular and plural endings of medical terms, (5) Dissect (cut) compound medical terms into parts to analyze their meaning, and (6) Recognize and pronounce commonly used prefixes, suffixes, and root words used in medical terminology. The last page of this “Word Part” packet has a list of singular and plurals word forms.
Word Part #1
Meaning of Example(s)
a-, an, non
Apnea, Anuria, Nonstriated
Not breathing, Without urine, Muscle not striated
Abductor muscle, Efferent Neuron
Muscle pulling away from midline (deltoid), Carrying info away from brain
Afferent neuron, Adductor muscle
Carry info toward brain, Muscle pulling toward midline (groin)