Prefixes, Roots, and Suffixes

The following pages list common prefixes, roots, and suffixes. When you are not sure about the meaning of a new word, try to figure it out by studying its parts. Each word part can unlock dozens of new words for you. The listed prefixes, roots, and suffixes are boldfaced, followed by their meanings in parentheses, and then by example words.

  • Prefixes come before root words and act as modifiers.
  • Roots provide the main meaning of a word and can be connected to other roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
  • Suffixes come after the root word and act as modifiers.


a(n) (without, not, no) amoral, anaerobic, anarchy, apathy, asymmetrical

ab (from, away from, down from) absent, absorb, abstract, abdomen

ad (attached to, on, increase) adhere, adductor, adrenal

ag (together, gather) aggregate, agora

ambi (both, around) ambidextrous, ambiguous, ambivalent

amphi (both, in) amphibian, amphitheater

ana (again, backward) analogy, anaphase, anabolic

ante (in front of, before) antebellum, antecedent, antechamber, anterior

ant(i) (against) antacid, antibody, antidote, antioxidant

auto (self, same) autograph, automatic, automobile, autonomous

be (totally, overly) belittle, bemoan, bemuse, beware

ben (well, good) benefit, benediction, benefactor

bi (two) bipedal, binary, binocular

cata (down, against) cataclysmic, catastrophic, catatonic

circum (around) circadian, circumference, circumstance, circus

co (with, together) coed, cohere, cooperate

com (together) compare, compete, compose, compromise

con (with, together) congregate, conjoin, connect, connote

contra (opposed to) contradict, contrary, contrapuntal

counter (against, opposite) counterargument, counterfeit, counterpart

de (away, opposite) degenerate, decommission, deodorize, detoxify

di (two, apart) diatomic, dichotomy, digress, divergent

dia (through, across) diagnosis, diagonal, diaphragm, diameter

dis (undo, apart) disconnect, dismiss, disrespect, dissolve

dys (bad, ill) dysfunctional, dystrophy, dyslexia

e(c) (out of, exclude) eccentric, elicit, elect, emit

en (in, within) enfold, engage, entangle, enter, enwrap

end(o) (inside) endocrine, endoskeleton, endothermic

epi (over, on, attached) epidemic, epidermis, epiphenomenon, episode

eu (good) euphony, eulogy, euphemism, euthanasia

ex (from, former) exit, excrete, ex-president, extinct

exo (outside) exoskeleton, exothermic

exter (outside) external, exterior, extrinsic

extra (additional) extracurricular, extraterrestrial, extraneous

fore (preceding) forecast, forehead, foreshadow, foreshorten

hemi (half) hemisphere, hemicycle, hemiplegia

hepta (seven) heptagonal, heptathlon

hexa (six) hexadecimal, hexagon, hexameter

hyper (excessive, above) hyperactive, hyperextension, hyperventilate

hypo (less than, under) hypochondria, hypodermic, hypoglycemia, hypothermia

im (not) immaculate, immediate, immature, immobile, impractical

in (into, not, without) incarnate, inception, incompetent

infer(i) (below) infer, inference, inferior, infernal

infra (beneath) infrared, infrastructure, infrasonic

inter (among/between) interact, Internet, interstate, interval

intra (inside) intramural, intrapersonal, intravenous


intro (into, within) introduction, introspection, introvert

iso (equal) isobar, isometric, isosceles, isotope

kilo (thousand) kilocalorie, kilogram, kilometer, kilowatt

mal (bad) maladapted, malevolent, malformed, malicious

micro (minute, millionth) microorganism, micrometer, microscope, microwave

mid (middle) midday, midnight, midpoint, midsummer

milli (thousand, one-thousandth) millennium, milliliter, millimeter, millipede

mini (least, small) miniature, minimize, minivan, minimal

mis (bad) misbehave, misconception, miscue, misdemeanor

mono (single) monochromatic, monogamy, monogram, monolith

mult(i) (many) multicellular, multilateral, multiple, multitude

nano (one billionth) nanometer, nanosecond, nanotechnology

neo (new) neoclassical, neophyte, neologism

non (not) noncompliant, nonconformist, nonfiction, nonsense

ob (toward, against) oblong, obstruct, obtrusive

oct(o) (eight) octave, octagon, octopus, October

omni (all) omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, omnivorous

over (above, exceed) overestimate, overpay, overwhelm

pan (all) panacea, pandemic, pantheism

para (beside, beyond) parabola, paramedic, paranoia, parasite

penta (five) pentad, pentagon, pentameter, pentadactyl, pentatonic

per (through, completely) perfuse, permeate, perspective

peri (all around) pericardium, perimeter, periodontal, periphery

poly (many) polygamy, polygon, polynomial, polypeptide

post (after) posterior, posthumous, postmodern, postpartum

pre (before) prepare, predict, preposition, preview

pro (before) proboscis, procure, prognosis, prologue, prophase

pro (favoring, substituting for) pro-choice, pro-life, protagonist, pronoun

prot(o) (first) protoplasm, prototype, protozoa

pseudo (false) pseudonym, pseudopod, pseudoscience

quadri (four) quadruped, quadrilateral, quadruplet, quatrain

quart (four) quart, quarter, quartet, quartile

quint (five) quintet, quintuplet, quintessence, quintessential

re (back, again) redo, regain, resound, retract, revise

retro (backward) retroactive, retrorocket, retrospect

semi (partly) semicircle, semipermeable, semipro, semisolid, semitrailer

sept (seven) septet, septuagenarian, septuple

sesqui (one and a half) sesquicentennial, sesquipedal, sesquipedalian

sex (six) sexpartite, sextet, sextant, sextuplet

sub (under) subcutaneous, submarine, subspecies, substance

super (above) superimpose, superior, superluminal, supernatural, supersonic

supra (above) supramolecular, supraorbital, supreme, supremacy

sym (with, same) symbol, symphony, symmetry, sympathy

syn (together) synapse, synergy, synthetic, syndicate, synchronous

ter (three) tertiary, tercet, tertian

tera (trillion) terabyte, teraflop, terahertz

tetra (four) tetrad, tetrameter, tetrahedron, Tetragrammaton

trans (across) transact, transfer, transmit, transport, transpose

tri (three) triangle, triceratops, tricuspid, triceps, triptych, trinity

ultra (beyond) ultraliberal, ultramarine, ultrasonic, ultraviolet

un (not) uncharted, unexamined, unwashed, unworthy

under (below) underage, underrated, underrepresented, understated

uni (one) unicorn, unilateral, unicycle, unisex, unit, unite

up (above) update, uphold, upscale, upstage, upturn

with (together) withhold, within, without, withstand


acet (acid, vinegar) acetic acid, acetyline

ac, acu (bitter, sharp) acrid, acumen, acute

acr(o) (high, hill, top) acrobat, acropolis

aer(o) (air, gas) aerobic, aerial, aerodynamic

agon (struggle) agony, protagonist, antagonist,

agr(o) (fields, soil) agriculture, agronomy

alb(u) (white) albino, albumin, albatross

alim (digestion) alimentary, alimony

allo (other, different) alloy, allocate

alter (another) alter ego, alternative

alt(o) (high) altitude, altimeter, alto

am (love) amateur, amoretto, amour propre

amb(ul) (walk) amble, ambulate, ambulance


  • (large, increase)
ample, amplify, amplitude



andr(o) (male) android, androgynous

angio (vessel) angiogram, angioplasty

anim (soul, breath, spirit) animal, animus, animate

anni, annu, enni (year, segmented) annual, anniversary, annuity, centennial

anth (flower) anther, acanthus, anthesis

anthrop (human) anthropology, anthropoid, philanthropy

antiq (old) antique, antiquated, antiquity

aper (open) aperture, apertif

apo (detached, off) apogee, apocalypse

append (hang on, addition) append, appendage, appendix

aqua (water) aquarium, aqueous, aquifer

arbor (tree) Arbor Day, arboreal, arboretum

arch(eo) (beginning, primitive, ancient) archaic, archeology, archive

arterio (vessels leading from heart) artery, arteriosclerosis

arthr(o) (joint, jointed) arthritis, arthropod

articul (joint) articulate, articulation

aster, astro (star) aster, asteroid, astronaut, astronomy

audi (hear) audio, audible, audition, auditorium, audience

avi(s) (bird) avian, aviary, aviator

axi (axis, turn) axis, axle

bar (pressure, weight) barometer, baritone

bas (base) base, basal, basis, bass

bib(lio) (book) bibliography, bibliophile

bio (life) biography, biology, biosphere, biopsy

boli (ball, throw) bolus, metabolism, parabola, parable,

bot (plant) botany, botanical, botanist

brachi (arm) brachia, embrace

brevi (short) abbreviate, brief, brevity

bronch (trachea) bronchia, bronchitis

bulla (important) bullet, bulletin

bursa (purse, bodily pouch) bursitis, disburse, reimburse

calc(i) (lime, chalk, pebble to render) calcium, calcify, calculate

calo(r) (heat) calorie, caloric, calorimeter

cand (bright) candle, candent, incandescent

capilli (hair) capillary, capillarity

capit (head) capital, decapitate, captain

carcin (cancer) carcinogen, carcinoma

cardi(o) (heart) cardiogram, cardiology

carn(i) (flesh) carnage, carnal, carnival, carnivore

carp (wrist) carpus, carpal-tunnel syndrome

caryo (nucleus) eukaryote, prokaryote

cath (clean, pure) catheter, catharsis

caus (burn) caustic, cauterize, holocaust

cav (hollow) cave, cavity, concave

caval (horse) cavalry, cavalier, chivalry,

cede, ceed (go, yield), concede, precede, recede, secession, succeed

cereb (brain) cerebellum, cerebral, cerebrum

cervi (neck) cervical, cervix

chemo (chemical) chemical, chemotherapy

chlor(o) (green, chlorine) chlorine, chlorophyll, chloroplast

chol (bile) cholera, cholesterol

chondr (cartilage, small) hypochondriac, mitochondria

cell (room) cell, cellular

cens (judge) census, censor, consensus

cent (hundred, one hundredth) centigrade, century, centimeter, percent

centr (center) centrifugal, centrifuge, centripetal, eccentric, ethnocentric

cephal(o) (head) cephalic, cephalopod, hydrocephalus

ceps (head) biceps, forceps, triceps

cept (take) concept, interception, perception, reception

chrom(o) (color) chromatic, chromosome, chromoplast

chron(o) (time) anachronism, chronology, chronograph

cine (movement) cinema, cinematic, cinematography

cis(e) (cut) excise, incise, incisor, scissors

claim (cry out) exclaim, declaim, proclaim

class (group) class, class-action, classification

clast (broken) clastic, iconoclastic, pyroclastic

claust (tight space) claustrophobia, closet

clima (region) climate, climatic climax

cline (lean) incline, recline

clude (close) conclude, exclude, include, seclude

cogni (know) cognition, cognitive, recognize, cognizant, incognito,

colo (colon) colon, colonoscopy, colitis

copia (abundance) copious, cornucopia

corn (horn) cornea, cornucopia, unicorn

corpus (body) corporation, corpse, corpuscle

cosm (universe) cosmos, cosmopolitan, microcosm

cracy (rule) autocracy, aristocracy, democracy, meritocracy

cran (skull, brain) cranium, craniology, craniosacral

crat (supporter of, rule) aristocrat, bureaucrat, democrat

cred (to believe) credible, credit, credence, incredulous

cruc(i) (cross) cruciform, excruciate, crucify, crusades

crusta (shell) crustacean, crusty


cry(o) (extreme cold) cryogenic, cryonics, cryophilic

crypt (hidden) crypt, cryptic, encrypt

cubo (lie in) incubate, incubator, incubus

culp (fault) culpable, culprit

cumu (mound) accumulate, cumulus, cumulative

curs (run) cursor, cursory, cursive, precursor

cusp (point) cusp, cuspid, bicuspid

cuti (skin) cuticle, subcutaneous

cyan(o) (blue-green) cyan, cyanide, cyanobacteria

cycl (wheel) cycle, cyclonic, encyclical, unicycle

cyt(o/e) (hollow vessel) cytology, cytoplasm, leukocyte, lymphocyte

dactyl (finger, toe) dactyl, polydactyl, pterodactyl

deca (ten) decade, December, dodecahedron

deci (one tenth) decibel, decimate, decimeter

dem (people) demagoguery, democratic, demographic, epidemic

dent, dont (tooth) dentist, dentin, orthodontist

derm (skin) dermis, epidermis, hypodermic, echinoderm

dextr (right) ambidextrous, dexterity, dextrose

dict (speak) diction, dictate, indict, predict, verdict

divi (cut, apart) divide, dividend, individual

dorm (sleep) dormant, dormitory

dox (belief) doxology, orthodoxy

drome (race course, running) hippodrome, syndrome, velodrome

duct (carry) abduct, aqueduct, conduct, product

dura (hard) durable, duration, endure, epidural

dyn(a) (force, power) dynamic, dynamo, dynasty

eco(s) (house) ecology, economy, ecosystem

ech (sound) echo, echocardiogram, echolocation

eff(u) (pour out) effluence, effulgent, effuse, effusive

ego (self) ego, egotistical, superego

elast (regain shape) elastic, elasticity

electr(o) (electricity) electric, electrocute, photoelectric

embryo (swelling within) embryo, embryonic, embryogenesis

entero (intestine) enteritis, gastroenterologist

epheme (passing away) ephemera, ephemeral

equ (equal) equate, equator, equilateral

erg(y) (work) energy, ergonomic, synergy

eso (within) esophagus, esoteric

esthesia (feeling) anesthetic, esthetic, kinesthetic

eth(i) (character) ethics, ethical

ethno (race) ethnic, ethnicity

faci, fact (make) facile, facilitate, facility, manufacture

feli (happiness) felicity, felicitous

fera (wild) feral, ferocity

fido (faithful) fidelity, fiduciary, hi-fi, infidelity

fin (final) finial, finish, finitude, infinite

fissi (split) fissile, fission, fissure

flect (turn) deflect, inflect, reflect

flex (bend) circumflex, flexible, flexor

flict (strike) afflict, conflict, inflict

flor (flower) flora, Florida, florist

flu(x) (flow) effluent, fluent, fluency, fluctuate, influence

fluor (glow) fluoresce, fluorescent, fluoroscope

foli(o) (leaf) defoliate, exfoliate, folio, foliage, foliate

form (shape) cruciform, formidable, formula

fort, forc (strong) enforce, forcible, fortify

fossa (dig) fossil, fossilize

fract (broken) fraction, fracture, infraction, refract

fragi (delicate) fragile, fragility, fragment

frat (brother) fraternal, fraternize, fratricide

fric (rub, carve) friction, fricative

frigi (cold) frigid, frigidity, frigorific, refrigerate

fruc (fruit) fructify, fructose, frugivorous

fug(e) (drive out, flee) centrifuge, fugitive, fugue, refugee

fuma (smoke) fumigate, fuming

fund (bottom) fund, funding, fundament, fundamental

fung (mushroom) fungus, fungicide

furi (rave, insane) furious, furor, fury, infuriate

fuse (melt, combine) confuse, fuse, fusion, infuse, transfuse

gala (milk-white) galaxy, galactose

gamet (reproductive) gamete, gametophore, gametophyte

gamy (marriage) bigamy, monogamy, polygamy

gangli (knot, tumor) ganglia, ganglion

gastr(o) (digestive) gastric, gastritis, gastrointestinal

gen (origin) gene, generation, genetics, oogenesis

gen(y) (kind, tribe) genealogy, genotype, homogeny, progeny

genus (class, become) gene, general, genus, genuine

ge(o) (earth) geocentric, geography, geology, geometry

geri (old) geriatrics, gerontology

germ (sprout, seed) germ, germicide, germinate

gesto (carry) egest, digest, gestate, ingest

giga (giant, billion) gigabyte, gigantic, gigahertz, gigawatt

gloss (tongue) gloss, glossary

glot (tongue) glottal, glottis, polyglot


gluc, glyc(o) (sugar) glucose, glycerin, hypoglycemia

gnos(is) (knowledge) agnostic, diagnostic, Gnostic, prognosis

gon (angle) octagon, pentagon, polygon

grad (step) centigrade, gradient, gradual, graduated

gram (written record) cardiogram, diagram, grammar, program, telegram

graph (write, recording) autobiography, autograph, cartography, cinematography, geography, graphic, photograph, polygraph, topographical

gregate (gather) aggregate, congregate, gregarious

gress (walk, enter) digress, egress, ingress, progress, transgress

gyn(ec) (female) androgyny, gynecology, gynecologist

gyro (whirl) autogyro, gyration, gyroscope

hab, habit (live) cohabitate, habitat, inhabit

hal (salt) halide, halite, halophile, halophyte

hallu (wander mentally) hallucinate, hallucinogenic

hect (hundred) hectare, hectogram, hectoliter, hectometer

hedron (shape) dodecahedron, heptahedron, polyhedron, tetrahedron

heli (spiral) helix, helicopter

helio (sun) heliocentric, heliograph, heliopause, heliostat

hem(o), hemat (blood) hematoma, hemoglobin, hemophilia, hemostat

hepat (liver) hepatic, hepatitis

herb(a) (plant) herbaceous, herbal, herbalist, herbivore

hereo (cling) adhere, adhesion, coherence, cohesive

herp (reptile) herpetology, herpetological

heter(o) (other) heterogenous, heterosexual

hibern (winter) hibernal, hibernate

hist(o) (tissue) histamine, histology, histogram

holo (whole) Holocene, holocaust, holograph

homeo (same) homeostasis, homeopathic

homi (human) homicide, hominid, hominoid

homo (same) homogenous, homosexual

hum (earth) exhume, humus, inhume, posthumous

hydr(o) (water) hydrate, hydrant, hydroelectric, hydrophobia, hydrothermal

hypn (sleep) hypnotic, hypnotism, hypnotherapy

icon (image) icon, iconic, iconoclastic, iconography

idi(o) (individual, self) idiom, idiosyncratic

ignis (fire) igneous, ignite, ignition

immune (safe, exempt) immunity, immunology, immunotherapy

incis (cut into) incision, incisor, incisive

ject (throw) eject, inject, project, reject, trajectory

jud(ic) (judge) judge, judicial, judiciary, injudicious

junct (join) adjunct, conjunction, junction, disjunct

juven (youthful) juvenile, rejuvenate

karyo (nucleus) eukaryote, prokaryote

kines(a) (movement) cytokinesis, kinesthetic, kinesiology, telekinesis

lacer (slash, mangled) lacerate, laceration

lact (milk) lactation, lactic, lactose

lamin (layer) laminar, laminate

langui (faint) languid, languish, languor

lapid (stone) dilapidate, lapidary

larva (specter, mask) larvae, larval, larvicide

laryng (throat) laryngitis, laryngoscope, larynx

laten (hidden) latency, latent

later(o) (side) lateral, bilateral, multilateral, unilateral

lati (broad) latitude, latitudinarian

lax (loose) laxative, laxity, relax

lega, legit (bequeath, law) legacy, legal, legitimate, illegitimate

leuk(o) (white, clear) leukocyte, leukemia

levat(a) (raise) levitate, levy, elevate

leve (balance) level, lever

lex (speech, word, law) dyslexia, lexicology, lexicon

liber (free) liberal, liberation, libertine

libra (balance) deliberate, equilibrium

liga (to bind) ligament, ligate, ligature

limbus (edge) limb, limbic, limbo

limin (threshold) eliminate, liminal, limit

linea (line) lineage, lineal, lineament

lingu (tongue) bilingual, lingo, lingual, linguistics,

linum (flax) linen, linnet, linoleum

lip (fat) lipase, lipid, lipoprotein, liposuction

liqua (fluid) liquid, liquidate, liquor

lith (stone) gastrolith, lithograph, monolith, Neolithic

lobe (rounded) lobe, lobotomy, lobular

loca (place) locale, locate, locus, locomotive

logo (word) apology, logic, eulogy, monologue

logy (study of) astrology, biology, ecology, zoology

lubri (slippery) lubricant, lubricate

luci (light) lucid, lucent, lucifer, luciferous

lud (play) allude, elude, ludicrous

lumb (lower back) lumbar, lumbago

lumen (light) bioluminescent, illumine, luminary, luminous

luna (moon) lunacy, lunar, lunation

lymph (clear liquid) lymph, lymphatic, lymphoma


lysis (break up, dissolve) analyze, dialysis, hydrolyze, lysosome

macro (large) macroscopic, macrophage, macronucleus

magn(i) (great) magnify, magnanimous, magnificent, magnitude

mal(i) (bad) malicious, malevolent, malformed, malignant

mall (hammer) malleable, mallet, malleus

mamm (breast) mammal, mammary, mammogram

mani, manu (hand) manipulate, manicure, manual, manufacture

mania (insane desire) manic, monomaniacal, kleptomaniac

mar (sea) marina, marine, mariner, maritime

masto (breast) mastectomy, mastitic, mastitis

materi (matter) material, materialism, immaterial

matic (relating to) automatic, mathematical, plasmatic, somatic

maxi (most) maximum, maximal, maximize

mea (pass through) permeate, permeability

mechani (machine) machine, mechanic, mechanize

medi (middle) median, mediate, medieval, mediocre

medic (heal) medicine, medical, medicate

mega (million, great) megabyte, megahertz, megaphone

megal(o) (swollen) megalomania, megalopolis

melan (black) melancholy, melanin, melanoma

memor (mindful) memory, memorial, memoir

ment (mind) dementia, mental, mentality, mention

mes(o)(i) (middle) Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, mesosphere, Mesozoic

meta (later, change) metabolism, metamorphic, metaphase, metaphysics

meteor (weather) hydrometeorology, meteorology, meteorologist

meter, metr (measurement) centimeter, diameter, metronome, optometry

metr(o) (mother) metropolis, metropolitan

migra (wander) immigrant, migrant, migratory

mime (mimic) mimetic, mimicry, pantomime

minis (assist) administer, administrator, ministry

minu (less) minus, minute, minuet

mira (wondrous) miracle, miraculous, mirage

miso (hate) misogamy, misogyny, misanthropy

miss (to send) mission, missionary, missive

mit (send) admit, permit, submit, transmit

mito (thread) mitochondria, mitogen, mitosis

mobil (movable) automobile, immobile, mobilize

modus (way, mode) mode, moderate, module, modulate

mole (mass) mole, molecule, molecular

mollis (soft) mollify, mollusk

mor(t) (death) morgue, mortality, mortify, mortuary

morph (shape) endomorph, ectomorph, metamorphic, morphological

moto (moving) motif, motile, motive, motorcycle

mural (wall) intramural, mural

mut(a) (change) mutagen, mutate, mutation, mutable

mycin (from fungus) erythromycin, neomycin, streptomycin

narc (sleep, torpor) narcoleptic, narcosis, narcotic,

nat (birth) nationality, nativity, neonatal

naut (ship, sailor) astronaut, nautical, nausea

nebul (fog, mist) nebula, nebulous, nebulizer

necr(o) (death, corpse) necrotic, necromancy, necropolis

nema (thread, round) nematode, nematocyst

neur(o) (nerve) neurology, neuron, neurotransmitter

neutr(o) (neutral) neuter, neutron, neutrino

nictare (wink) nictitate, nictitating membrane

noct (night) nocturnal, nocturne, noctambulism

nod(o) (knot) nodular, nodule

nomen, nomin (name) nominal, nominate, nominee, nomenclature

nomy (science of, name) astronomy, economy, nominal

norm (rule) abnormal, normal, normative,

nota (know) notary, notation, notarize, notary, note

nova (new) Nova Scotia, novel, innovate, supernova

nox (harm) noxious, noxiousness, obnoxious

nucle (kernel) nuclear, nucleolus, nucleus

null (none) null, nullify

numer (number) enumerate, numeral, numerical, innumerable

nutri (food) nourish, nourishment, nutrient, nutrition

obver (turn) obverse, obversely

oculo (eye) binocular, monocle, ocular, oculist

odo (way, path) anode, cathode, odometer

odon (tooth) iguanodon, orthodontic, mastodon

offic (duty) office, officer, official, officious

oid (resembling) anthropoid, humanoid, mongoloid, ovoid

ol (alcohol) butanol, ethanol, methanol, propanol

olfact (smell) olfaction, olfactory

oligo (few) oligarch, oligarchy, Oligocene

oma (swelling, tumor) carcinoma, glaucoma, hematoma

ome (biological entity) biome, chromosome, cytosome, genome


onco (cancer) oncological, oncologist, oncology

onoma (name) onomatomania, onomatopoeia

onomy (knowledge) anatomy, astronomy, economy, taxonomy

onto (existence) ontological, ontology

onym (name) anonymous, acronym, pseudonym

oo (egg) oocyte, oologist, oospore

opera (work) opera, opus, operate, operant

ophthal (eye) ophthalmologist, ophthalmology, ophthalmia, ophthalmoscope

opia (vision) myopia, presbyopia

opin (think) opine, opinion

opsis (appearance) caryopsis, synopsis

opsy (examination) autopsy, biopsy

opt (choice) opt, option, optimism, optimum

opt(i/o) (eye, vision) optical, optician, optometrist

ora (mouth) oral, oracle, oration

orb (circle) orb, orbit, orbital

ordino (arrange) ordain, order, ordinal

ornith (bird) ornithology, ornithopod, ornithopter

orno (adorn) adorn, ornament, ornate

ortho (straight) orthodontic, orthodox, orthopedic, orthoscopic

oscill (swing) oscillate, oscillograph, oscilloscope

os, ossi, oste(o) (bone) osteoporosis, osteopath, ossify, ossification

osten (exhibit) ostensible, ostentation, ostentatious

ov(i) (egg) oval, ovary, ovoid, ovule

ox(y) (oxygen) oxygen, oxygenate, oxidization, deoxyribonucleic acid

pac, pax (peace) pacify, Pacific, pacifist

pachy (thick) pachyderm, pachytene

paleo (ancient) Paleocene, Paleolithic, paleontology

palpa (touch, feel) palpable, palpate, palpitation

pate (shallow, pan) pate, patella, paten, patent

pater, patr (father) paternal, paternity, paternoster

path(o) (feeling, suffering, disease) pathetic, pathological, pathogen, psychopath

pect (chest) expectorate, pectoral

ped (child) pediatrician, pediatric, pedagogy, pedigree

ped(i) (foot) bipedal, pedal, pedestrian, pedicle

pel (drive) expel, impel, propel, repel

pena (punishment) penal, penalize, penalty, penance, penitentiary

pend (to hand) append, dependent, impend

penetr (insert) penetrate, impenetrable

pept (one) peptide, peptize, polypeptide

period (time) periodic, periodical, periodically

pessimi (worst) pessimism, pessimist, pessimistic

phag (eat) esophagus, macrophage, phagocyte, sarcophagus

phal (fingers/toes) phalanges, phalanx

phan (show, appear) cellophane, diaphanous, phantom

pharmac (drug) pharmacy, pharmaceutical, pharmacological

pharyng (throat) pharyngeal, pharynx

phas (speech) aphasia, aphasic, dysphasia

phase (stage) anaphase, metaphase, prophase

pheno (visible, show) phenomenon, phenomenal, phenotype

philia (attraction) hemophilia, sophophilia

phil(o) (love) Philadelphia, philanthropy, philosophy

phleb (vein) phlebitis, phlebotomy

phob (fear) arachnophobia, claustrophobia, hydrophobia, phobia

phon(e) (sound) microphone, phonetic, symphony, telephone

phos (light) phosphor, phosphorescent, phosphorus

photo (light) photograph, photon, photosynthesis

phren (brain) phrenetic, phrenic, phrenology

phyl (tribe, class) phylogeny, phylum

phyll (leaf) chlorophyll, phyllode, phyllotaxy

physic (nature) physical, physician, physics

physis (change, growth) epiphysis, physical, physique

phyt(e) (plant) epiphyte, phytogenesis, phytoplankton

pinn (feather) pinna, pinion, pinnate

placeo (pacify) placate, placebo, placidity

plagia (kidnapping) plagiarism, plagiarist, plagiarize

plasm(a) (fluid substance) cytoplasm, ectoplasm, endoplasm, protoplasm

plast(y) (particle) chloroplast, euplastic, leucoplast

plat(y) (flat) plate, plateau, platform, platypus

plaud (praise) applaud, laud, plaudit

plect (braid, weave) complected, complex, complexion

plegia (paralysis) hemiplegia, paraplegia, quadriplegia

plete (fill) complete, deplete, replete

pleth (excessive) plethora, plethoric

pleur (rib) pleura, pleuropneumonia, pleurisy

plex (interwoven, strike) complex, perplex, solar plexus

plica (fold) pliant, compliant, complicate, replicate


plum (feather) plumage, plumate, plume

pne(a/um) (lungs, breathe) apnea, pneumonia, pneumatic

pod(a) (foot) arthropod, gastropod, pseudopod, podium, tripod

polar (opposed) dipolar, polarity, polarization, polarize, pole

polis (city) acropolis, metropolis, megalopolis, necropolis

pom (knob, fruit) pome, pomegranate, pommel

popu (people) populace, popular, populate, population

por (hole) osteoporosis, pore, porous, porosity

port (carry) export, import, portable, portfolio, transport

porta (gate) port, portal, portcullis

posi (place) deposit, imposition, position, positive

pota (river, drink) hippopotamus, potable, Mesopotamia

potent (power) impotent, omnipotent, potentate, potential

prehend (seize) apprehend, comprehend, prehensile

prim (first) primal, primary, primate, prime, primitive

proach (near) approach, rapprochement, reproach

propag (multiply) propaganda, propagate

propel (drive) propellant, propeller, propulsion

prox (near) approximate, proximal, proximity, proxy

psych (mind) psychic, psychology, psychopath, psychosomatic

pter (wing, fly) helicopter, ornithopter, pterodactyl

publi (populace) public, publicize, publish

pulmo (lung) pulmonary, pulmonology

pupa (doll) pupae, pupate, pupation

purg (purify) purge, purgative, purgatory

putr (decay) putrefaction, putrefy, putrescent, putrid

pyr(o) (fire) pyre, pyroclastic, pyromania, pyrometallurgy

qual (characteristic) qualify, qualitative, quality

quant (amount) quantify, quantity, quantum

quasi (partly, so called) quasi-intellectual, Quasimodo, quasar

quer, ques (seek) conquest, inquest, query, quest, question, request

quota (amount) quota, quotient, quotidian

radic (root) eradicate, radish

radio (spoke) radial, radiate, radioactive, radiometer

ranc (stink) rancid, rancor, rancorous

rapi (plunder) rapacious, rape, ravish

ras (scrape) abrasion, rasp, razor

rati(o) (fixed, reason) ratio, ration, rational, ratiocination

recidi (backslide) recidivism, recidivist

rect (right, straight) erect, direct, rectangle, rectify

reg (rule) regal, regent, regulate

relat (carried back) relate, relative, relativity, relation

relic (leave, neglect) relic, derelict, dereliction

render (return) rendering, rendition, surrender

repta (creep) reptile, reptilian

resid (remain) reside, residual, residue, residence

resona (echo) resonance, resonator, resound

reti (web) reticulate, retina, retinaculum

reve (show) reveal, revel, revelation

revi (see again) review, revise, revision

rhin(o) (nose) rhinoceros, rhinoplasty, rhinoscopy

rhiz(o) (root) rhizoid, rhizome, rhizosphere

rhod(o) (red, rose) rhodium, rhododendron, rhodolite

rig (stiff) rigid, rigor, rigorous

rogare (ask) rogation, interrogate, interrogative

rota (wheel) rotary, rotor, rotate, rotisserie

rrhea (flow) diarrhea, gonorrhea, menorrhea

rub (red) rubella, rubious, rubric, ruby

rupt (break) abrupt, disrupt, interruption, rupture

sacchar (sugar) polysaccharide, monosaccharide, saccharine

sacr (holy) sacred, sacrament, sacrifice, sacrum

sagac (wisdom) sage, sagacious, sagacity

sal (salt) saline, salary

saliv (spit) saliva, salivary, salivate, salivation

salu (health) salute, salubrious, salutary

salv (safe) salve, salvo, salvation, salvage

sanct (holy) sanctify, sanction, sanctity, sacrosanct, sanctuary

sangui (blood) sanguine, sanguinary, sanguineous

sanit (health) sanity, sanitary, sanitize, sanitation, sanitarium

sapien (wise) sapience, sapient, savant

sarc (flesh) sarcoma, sarcomere, sarcophagus, sarcosome

saur (reptile) dinosaur, Ichthyosaur, Tyrannosaurus

scala (ladder) scale, scalar, escalade, escalator

scene (stage) scenic, scenario, scenery

schizo (split) schist, schizoid, schizophrenia

scien (know) conscience, omniscience, science, scientist

sciss (cut) scission, scissor

sclera(o) (hard) arteriosclerosis, sclera, sclerotic, sclerosis,

scope, scopy (see) colonoscopy, microscope, oscilloscope, periscope, telescope

scrib, scrip (write) describe, inscribe, manuscript, prescribe, scribble

scrutia (study) inscrutable, scrutinize, scrutiny


sculp (carve) scalpel, sculpt, sculptor, sculpture

sect (divide) bisect, dissect, intersect, sect, section, transect

seism (shake) seismic, seismograph, seismology

sema (sign) semantics, semaphore, semiotic

semble (similar) assemble, dissemble, ensemble, resemble

seni (old) senile, senior, senescence

sens (experience) insensate, sense, sensation, sensible, sensual

seps (infection) asepsis, sepsis, septicemia

sequi (follow) consequence, sequel, sequence, sequential

sero (body) serology, serum

serpen (crawling) serpent, serpentarium, serpentine

serrat (jagged) serrate, serrations, Sierras

sert (join) assertive, desert, insertion

sessi (sit, attached) séance, sessile, session

sibilat (hiss) sibilant, sibilate, sibilance

sicc (dry) desiccant, desiccate, exsiccate

signum (sign) sign, signal, signet, signature, signify

similis (alike) facsimile, similar, simile, simulate, similar

sinu (wind, bend) insinuate, sinuate, sinuous

sipho (tube) siphon, siphonal, siphonophore

sist (stop, stand) assist, desist, insist, persist, resist

skeleton (dried body) cytoskeleton, exoskeleton, endoskeleton, skeletal

sol (sun) solar, solarium, solarimeter

solu, solv (loosen) absolve, dissolve, insoluble, solution, solve, solvent, resolve

soma(t), some (body) chromosome, lysosome, psychosomatic, somatic

som(e) (body) chromosome, lysosome, psychosomatic, somatic

somn(i) (sleep) insomnia, somnambulism, somniferous, somnolent

son(a) (sound) consonant, sonata, sonic, sonogram, sonorous

soph (wise) philosophy, sophist, sophisticated

sopor (lethargy) soporific, soporiferous

spasm (draw, rend) spastic, spasmodic, spasticity

spati (empty) space, spatial, spatiotemporal

speci (type) special, speciation, species, specific, specimen

spect (see) circumspect, inspect, prospect, respect, spectacle, spectator

spectro (spectrum) spectra, spectroscope, spectrometer

specul (spy) speculate, speculation, speculum

spend (hang) spend, expend, suspend

sphere (ball) atmosphere, ecosphere, hemisphere, spherical

spir(o) (breathe) aspire, expire, inspire, respire

spons (promise) response, responsible, sponsor, spouse

spont (free) spontaneous, spontaneity, spontaneously

squal (foul) squalid, squalor

stab (firm, standing) establish, stable, stabilize

stagn (sill pool) stanch, stagnate, stagnation

stalak (drip) stalactite, stalagmite

stasis, stat (stationary, control) homeostasis, static, statue, thermostat

stella (star) constellation, interstellar, stellar

stereo (two) stereomicroscope, stereophonic, stereoscopic

stigma (stain) astigmatism, stigmatic, stigmatize

still (drip) distill, instill, still

stoma(t) (mouth) stoma, stomata, stomach

strati (layer) stratus, stratum, stratify, stratosphere

stria (groove) striated, striation

strict (bind) constrict, restrict, strict, stricture

struct (build up) construct, destruct, obstruct, restructure, structure

stud (diligent) student, studio, studious, study

styl (stem) stylist, stylus, turnstile

suas (to advise, agree) assuasive, dissuade, persuade, suave

sublim (lofty) sublimate, sublime, subliminal

succu (juice) succubus, succulent, succulence

supin (lying back) supine, supinate, supination

suppos (put under) presuppose, suppose, supposition, suppository

surg (rise) insurgency, insurrection, surge

suspen (hang) suspend, suspense, suspension, suspender

syllab (take together) syllable, syllabic, syllabus

sylv (forest) sylph, sylvan, Pennsylvania

synthes (put together) photosynthesis, synthesis, synthesize, synthetic

symbio (live together) symbiotic, symbiosis, symbiote

sympto (fall together) asymptomatic, symptom, symptomatic


  • (stand together)
systemic, systematic, systematize


systol (contract) asystole, diastole, diastolic, systole, systolic

tabul (board) table, tabulate, tabloid, tableau

tachy (rapid) tachycardia, tachyon

tacit (silent) tacit, tacitly, taciturn

tact (touch) tactful, tactile, tactical

tag (touch) contagious, tag

tail (cut) curtail, detail, retail, tailor

tain (hold) ascertain, certain, detain, obtain, retain,

tang (touch) intangible, tangible, tangent


tard (slow) tardy, tarry

tars (ankle) metatarsal, tarsier, tarsus

taxi (movement) phototaxis, taxicab, taximeter, taxiway

taxo (arrangement) taxidermy, taximeter, taxonomy

techn (skill) technical, technician, technique, technology

tele (distant) telepathy, telephone, telescope, television

telo (end) teleology, telomere, telophase,

temp (time, state) temper, temporary, temperature

tempt (touch) attempt, contempt, temptation

ten (grasp) tenacity, tenant, tenet

tend, tens (stretch, sinew) extend, portend, pretend, tendon, tendril, tensile

tenebr (dark) Tenebrae, tenebrific, tenebrous

tens (tight) intense, tense, tensile

term (boundary) interminable, term, terminal, terminate

terra (earth) terrain, terrestrial, territory

terri (frighten) terrible, terrify, terror, terrorism

test (witness) attest, contest, detest, protest, testament

text (weave) context, text, textile, textual, texture

thalam (inner chamber) hypothalamus, thalamus, thalamic

thana (death) euthanasia, thanatology, Thanatos

the(o/a) (God) atheism, polytheism, theism, theology

therap (treatment, examine) therapy, therapist, therapeutic

therm (heat) geothermal, endothermic, exothermic, hydrothermal, hypothermic

thora(c/x) (chest) thoracic, thorax, cephalothorax

thromb (clot) thrombophlebitis, thromboplastic, thrombosis

tinct (color) tinct, tint, tincture

tinni (ringing) tingle, tintinnabulation, tinnitus

titan (giant) titan, titanic, Titanism, titanium

tom(e) (part) atom, epitome, diatom

tom(y) (cut, slice) appendectomy, tonsillectomy, tracheotomy

ton(ic/o) (stretched) hypertonic, isotonic, tonus

topo (surface) topic, topical, topographic, topology

torsi (twist) torque, torsion, tortellini, tortuous

tox(i) (poison) antitoxin, intoxicate, toxic, toxemia, toxicology

trache (windpipe) trachea, tracheal, tracheobronchial, tracheotomy

tract (drag, draw) attract, extract, protract, retract, tractor, traction

trapez (four-footed) trapeze, trapezium, trapezoid

trauma (injury) trauma, traumatic, traumatize

tribu (press, tribe) retribution, tribulation, tribunal, tribune

trit (worn, frayed) attrition, trite, triturate

trope (turn toward) geotropic, hydrotropic, phototropic

trophy (feed, eat) atrophy, autotrophy, dystrophy, hypertrophy

tropism (movement or growth in) geotropism, hydrotropism, phototropism

trud (thrust) extrude, intrude, protrude

trunc (maim) truncate, truncheon

tuber (swelling) tuber, tubercle, protuberant, tuberculosis

turb (mob, muddled) disturb, turbidity, turbulent

twi (two) twain, twice, twin, twilight

tympan(o) (drum) tympani, tympanic, tympanum

typ (style, print) atypical, prototypical, typical, typography

ule (small) granule, module, vestibular

ulti (beyond) ulterior, ultimate, ultimatum

ulul (howl) ululate, ululation

umbilic (navel) umbilical, umbilicus

umbra (shadow) penumbra, umbrage, umbrella

undu (wave) inundate, undulate, undulation

ungu (hoof) ungula, ungulate, unguis

urb (city) urban, urbane, urbanize, suburb

uro (urine) urethane, uric, urinal, urine, urology

usu (use) unusual, usual, usury, usurpation

uter (womb) intrauterine, uterine, uterus

uti (use) utensil, utilitarian, utilize, utility

vacan (empty) evacuate, vacant, vacate, vacation

vacu (hole) vacuum, vacuole, vacuous

vade (go) evade, invade, pervade

vaga (wandering) vagabond, vagary, vagrant, vague

vagin (cup) invaginate, vagina, vaginal

vain (empty) vainglorious, vanity, vanish

vale (value, worth) equivalent, evaluate, valence, valiant, valid

vario (change, bent) variation, varicose, variegated, various

vas(o) (vessel) vasectomy, vasodilation, vascular, vasculature

vec, veh (carry) convect, convey, vehement, vehicle, vector

velo (swift) velocity, velocipede, velociraptor

ven (vein) intravenous, vena cava, venous

venal (sale) venal, venality, vendor

vera (true) veracious, veracity, verdict, verification, very

verb (word) verbal, verbalize, verbose, verbatim

verd (green) verdant, verdigris, verdure

verg (incline) converge, diverge, verge


vermin (worm) vermicelli, vermin, vermiform

vers (turn, direction) converse, inverse, obverse, reverse, transverse, versatile, version

vert (change, turn) advertise, convert, divert, invert, revert, versatile, vertigo

vesic (bladder) vesicant, vesicle, vesicular

vest (robe) divest, invest, vestment, vestry

vestig (trace) investigate, vestige, vestigial

via (road, through) deviate, devious, Via Dolorosa, viaduct

vibr (shake) vibrant, vibrate, vibrato

vice (in place of) vicar, viceroy, vice president

vin (grape) vinegar, vineyard, vintage, vintner

vir (slime, ooze) virology, virulent, virus

vis, vid (see) advise, revise, video, visage, vision, visor

viscero (guts) eviscerate, viscera, viscus

vit(a) (life) revitalize, vital, vitality, vitamins

vitr(e) (glass) in vitro, vitreous, vitrify, vitriol

vivi (alive) revive, revivify, vivacious, vivid

voc (call) invoke, revoke, vocal, vocation, vociferate

voli, volo (will) malevolent, volitional, volunteer

volt (turn) revolt, volt, voluble

volv (roll) convolute, devolve, evolve, involve, revolve

vor(e) (eat) carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, voracious

vot (vow) devote, vote, votive, votary

vuln (attack) invulnerable, vulnerable, vulnerability

xen(o) (stranger) xenobiotic, xenophobe, xenophile

zo (animal) zoology, zoophyte, zoon, zoospore

zygo (united, paired) heterozygous, zygomorphic, zygote


able (capable of, able) inflammable, notable, reliable

ac (pertaining to) hypochondriac, maniac

acean (class or order) crustacean, cetacean

aceous (of the nature of) herbaceous, sebaceous

acious (tending toward) gracious, rapacious, spacious

acy (state) democracy, legacy, lunacy, normalcy

ad (toward) cycad, monad, triad

age (state) blockage, heritage, marriage, sewage

agogy (leading) demagogy, pedagogy

al (pertaining to) facial, mental, nominal, physical, spiritual

ality (property of, condition of) causality, personality, reality

an, ian (belonging to, resembling) arcadian, Canadian, Hadean, hydrozoan

ance (the act of) avoidance, dominance, substance

ane (attribute) arcane, humane, mundane, urbane

ant (having, showing, or doing) combatant, merchant, penchant, peasant

ar (pertaining to) cellular, molecular, polar, scholar

arch (ruler) patriarch, matriarch, monarch

archy (rule, leadership) anarchy, monarchy, oligarchy

arian (age, sect, occupation) grammarian, librarian, octogenarian, vegetarian

arium (place for) aquarium, sanitarium, terrarium

ary, ery, ory (relating to) aviary, boundary, bribery, dictionary, illusory, library, victory

ase (enzyme) lactase, lipase, sucrase

asis (state of) cirrhosis, metastasis, psoriasis

ate (to cause, having) enervate, laminate, oxygenate, pronation, supination

ate (compound) carbonate, hydrate, silicate

atic (of the kind of) asthmatic, democratic, emphatic, erratic, somatic

ation (act of, condition of) intimation, perspiration, recitation, specialization

atory (characterized by, related to) ambulatory, circulatory, laboratory, observatory

cian (having a skill) clinician, musician, technician

cide (kill) insecticide, herbicide, homicide, patricide, genocide, suicide

cy (function, condition) deficiency, pregnancy, relevancy

dom (state, realm) boredom, freedom, princedom, wisdom

ectomy (cut out) appendectomy, thyroidectomy, tonsillectomy, vasectomy

ee (receiver of action) employee, payee, trainee

emia (blood issue) anemia, hypoglycemia, leukemia, toxemia

en (cause to be) harden, lighten, spoken, stolen

ence (process, state) emergence, luminescence, science

er, or (one who) baker, builder, governor, pollster, ranger, rover, senator

escent (becoming) luminescent, phosphorescent

ess (female) actress, princess, waitress

fer (carry) aquifer, conifer, ferry, transfer

ferous (bearing) coniferous, crystalliferous, pestiferous, soporiferous

fic (making) beatific, horrific, malefic, scientific

ful (full of) colorful, grateful, hopeful, respectful

fy, ify (make, cause to) exemplify, purify, putrefy, simplify, stupefy


genic (creating) carcinogenic, eugenic, mutagenic, photogenic

hood (order, condition) brotherhood, falsehood, neighborhood, womanhood

ia (condition) anorexia, bulimia, hypochondria, hysteria

iac (pertaining to) hypochondria, maniac

ial (relating to) arterial, cranial, medial, pericardial

ian (skilled in, resembling) comedian, librarian, reptilian

iasis (disease) paralysis, psoriasis, elephantiasis

iatric (treatment) geriatric, pediatric, psychiatric

iatry (treatment) optometry, podiatry, psychiatry

ible (capable of being) credible, mobile, risible, terrible

ic (pertaining to, having) atomic, biotic, frenetic, manic, medic

ician (specialist) magician, musician, physician, technician

ics (technology) acoustics, mathematics, physics

id (quality) acid, gelid, limpid, tepid

ify (become) petrify, rectify, sanctify, stratify

ile (relating to) compile, docile, senile

ing (act of) cleaning, hunting, living, regretting

ion (process of) extinction, fusion, reversion

ior (pertaining to) junior, savior, senior

ious (full of) bilious, cautious, religious, rubiginous

ish (of, somewhat) smallish, yellowish

ism (condition, belief) alcoholism, communism, socialism

ist (one who specializes in) dermatologist, optimist, optometrist

istics (science of) ballistics, linguistics, statistics

ite (nature of) stromatolite, stalactite, trilobite

itis (inflammation) appendicitis, arthritis, bronchitis, hepatitis

ity (state) formality, parity, reality

ium (element, chemical) barium, calcium, potassium

ive (tending toward) disruptive, expressive, pensive

ization (result of making) de-Stalinization, industrialization, organization

ize (cause to be) idealize, ionize, metastasize, realize

less (without) hopeless, needless, timeless, worthless

ling (smaller) duckling, hatchling, sapling

ly (manner) chronologically, happily, publicly, quickly

ment (act of, related to) ailment, fragment, government, movement

ness (quality) correctness, helpfulness, wellness

ologist (one who studies) anthropologist, biologist, entomologist, psychologist

ology (study of) anthropology, biology, entomology, psychology

or, er (one who) accelerator, doctor, governor, orator, rector, renter

ory (place) dormitory, factory, laboratory

ose (sugar ending) fructose, glucose, lactose, ribose, lactose, sucrose

osis (state, disease) arterioslerosis, prognosis, thrombosis, neurosis, psychosis

otic (affected with, producing) antibiotic, neurotic, symbiotic

otomy (incision) lobotomy, tracheotomy

ous (containing, pertaining to) analogous, bulbous, dexterous, porous, rigorous

ship (rank, quality) courtship, readership, relationship, scholarship

sis (state, process) hypnosis, mitosis, psychosis, trichinosis

some (like, leading to) gruesome, lonesome, twosome

ster (person associated with) gangster, mobster, youngster

th (ordinal number) tenth, hundredth, thousandth, millionth

ty (condition, state) conformity, exclusivity, realty

ular (resembling) cellular, circular, singular

ure (act, process) erasure, procedure, legislature

vious (characterized by) envious, previous, obvious

ward (in the direction of) downward, inward, outward, upward

where (location) anywhere, everywhere, nowhere, somewhere

wise (direction, regarding) clockwise, otherwise

y (inclined to) cheery, curvy, grouchy