Home   Dr. R. D. Allrich, Purdue University  (last updated 11-11-05)
Suffix    Meaning                  Example

a-        Without, lack of         Acentric (without a center)

ab-       Away from, from          Abterminal (away from the end)

-able     Capable                  Viable (capable of living)

acou-     Hearing                  Acoustics (science of sounds)

acro-     Extremity, peak          Acromegaly (large extremities)

acu-      Needle                   Acupuncture (insertion of needles)

ad-       To, toward, near to      Adrenal (near the kidney)

adeno-    Gland                    Adenoma (glandular tumor)

adipo-    Fat                      Adipocyte (fat cell)

aero-     Air, gas                 Aerobic (growing in presence of oxygen)

-agogue   Leading, inducing        Galactagogue (promoting the flow of milk)

-al       Expressing relationship  Neural (referring to nerves)

-algia    Pain                     Gastralgia (stomach pain)

allotri-  Strange, foreign         Allotriuria (strange condition of the urine)

ambi-     Both                     Ambilateral (affecting both sides)

amphi-    Both                     Amphibious (on land and in water)

an-       Without, lack of         Anaerobic (without oxygen)

ana-      Up, back, again          Anatomy (a cutting up)

andro-    Male                     Androcyte (male sex cell)

angio-    Vessel                   Angiography (radiography of blood vessels)

ante-     Before, forward          Antecubital (before elbow)

anti-     Against, reversed        Antiperistalsis (reversed peristalsis)

apo-      Separation, off          Apocope (cutting off)

arthr-    Joint                    Arthritis (inflammation of a joint)

-ary      Associated with          Urinary (associated with urine)

-ase      Enzyme                   Amylase (catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch)

-asis     Condition, state of      Homeostasis (state of staying the same)

atelo-    Incomplete               Atelopodia (incomplete development of foot)

auto-     Self                     Autolysis (self breakdown)

basi-     Base or foundation       Basicranial (base of skull)

bi-       Twice, double            Bilateral (both sides)

bio-      Live                     Biology (study of living)

-blast-   Bud, germ                Fibroblast (fiber - producing cell)

brady-    Slow                     Bradycardia (slow heart rate)

brevi-    Short                    Brevicollis (shortness of the neck)

bucco-    Cheek                    Buccally (toward the cheek)

-c        Expressing relationship  Cardiac (referring to heart)

carcin-   Cancer                   Carcinogenic (causing cancer)

cardio-   Heart                    Cardiopathy (heart disease)

cata-     Down, lower              Catabolism (breaking down)

cephal-   Head                     Cephalic (toward the head)

-cele     Hollow, cavity           Blastocele (cavity inside a blastocyst)

celio-    Abdomen                  Celioma (tumor of the abdomen)

cerebro-  Brain                    Cerebrospinal (referring to brain and spinal cord)

chol-     Bile                     Acholic (without bile)

cholecyst-  Gallbladder            Cholecystokinin (causes gallbladder contraction)
chondr-   Cartilage                Chondrocyte (cartilage cell)

chrono-   Time                     Chronobiology (effect of time on living systems)

-cide     Kill                     Bactericide (agent that kills bacteria)

circum-   Around, about            Circumduction (circular movement)

-clast-   Smash, break             Osteoclast (cell that breaks down bone)

co-       With, together           Coenzyme (molecule that functions with an enzyme)

colpo-    Vagina                   Colpoxerosis (abnormal dryness of vagina)

com-      With, together           Commissure (coming together)

con-      With, together           Convergence (to incline together)

contra-   Against, opposite        Contralateral (opposite side)

copro-    Feces                    Coprology (study of the feces)

crypto-   Hidden                   Cryptorchidism (undescended or hidden testes)

cyano-    Blue                     Cyanosis (bluish discoloration)

cysto-    Bladder or sac           Cystocele (hernia of a bladder)

-cyte-    Cell                     Erythrocyte (red blood cell)

cyto-     Cell                     Cytoskeleton (supportive fibers inside a cell)

de-       Away from                Dehydrate (remove water)

demi-     Half                     Demilune (halfmoon or crescent shaped)

derm-     Skin                     Dermatology (study of the skin)

di-       Two                      Diploid (two sets of chromosomes)

dia-      Through, apart, across   Diapedesis (ooze through)

dis-      Reversal, apart from     Dissect (cut apart)

-duct-    Draw                     Abduct (lead away from)

-dynia    Pain                     Mastodynia (breast pain)

dys-      Difficult, bad           Dysmentia (bad mind)

e-        Out, away from           Eviscerate (take out viscera)

ec-       Out from                 Ectopic (out of place)

ecto-     On outer side            Ectoderm (outer skin)

-ectomy   Cut out                  Appendectomy (cut out the appendix)

-edem-    Swell                    Myoedema (swelling of a muscle)

em-       In                       Empyema (pus in)

-emia     Blood                    Anemia (deficiency of blood)

en-       In                       Encephalon (in the brain)

endo-     Within                   Endometrium (within the uterus)

entero-   Intestine                Enteritis (inflammation of the intestine)

epi-      Upon, on                 Epidermis (on the skin)

erythro-  Red                      Erythrocyte (red blood cell)

eu-       Well, good               Euphoria (well-being)

ex-       Out, away from           Exhalation (breathe out)

exo-      Outside, on outer side   Exogenous (originating outside)

extra-    Outside                  Extracellular (outside the cell)

-facient  Causing, making          Abortifacient (causing abortion)

-ferent   Carry                    Afferent (carrying into a location)

-ferous   Producing, bearing       Odoriferous (giving off an odor)

-form     Expressing resemblance   Fusiform (resembling a fusion)

galacto-  Milk                     Galactophygous (arresting milk secretion)

gastro-   Stomach                  Gastrodynia (stomach ache)

-gen      Producing                Cryogen (producing cold)

-genesis  Produce, origin          Pathogenesis (origin of disease)

gloss-    Tongue                   Hypoglossal (under the tongue)

glyco-    Sugar, sweet             Glycolysis (breakdown of sugar)

-gram     A drawing                Myogram (drawing of a muscle contraction)

-graph    Instrument that records  Myograph (instrument measuring muscle contraction)

helio-    Sun                      Heliosis (sunstroke)

hem-      Blood                    Hemolysis (breakdown of blood)

hemi-     Half                     Hemiplegia (paralysis of half of the body)

hepato-   Liver                    Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)

hetero-   Different, other         Heterozygous (different genes for a trait)

hexa-     Six                      Hexamer (contains six monomers)

hist-     Tissue                   Histology (study of tissues)

homeo-    Same                     Homeostasis (state of staying the same)

hydro-    Wet, water               Hydrocephalus (fluid within the head)

hyper-    Over, above, excessive   Hypertrophy (overgrowth)

hypo-     Under, below, deficient  Hypotension (low blood pressure)

hyster-   Uterus                   Hysterectomy (removal of uterus)

-ia       Expressing condition     Neuralgia (pain in nerve)

-iatr-    Treat, cure              Pediatrics (treatment of children)

-id       Expressing condition     Flaccid (state of being weak)

idio-     Self-produced            Idiopathic (self-originated, of unknown cause)

im-       Not                      Impermeable (not permeable)

in-       In, into                 Injection (forcing fluid into)

infra-    Below                    Infraorbital (below the eye)

inter-    Between                  Intercostal (between the ribs)

intra-    Within                   Intraocular (within the eye)

ipsi-     Same                     Ipsilateral (same side)

-ism      Condition, state of      Dimorphism (condition of two forms)

iso-      Equal                    Isotonic (same tension)

-itis     Inflammation             Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach)

-ity      Expressing condition     Acidity (condition of acid)

juxta-    Near or adjoining        Juxtaspinal (close to spinal column)

kerato-   Cornea or horny tissue   Keratinization (formation of a hard tissue)

-kin-     Move                     Kinesiology (study of movement)

lact-     Milk                     Lactation (secretion of milk)

leuko-    White                    Leukocyte (white blood cell)

-liga-    Bind                     Ligament (structure that binds bone to bone)

lipo-     Fat                      Lipolysis (breakdown of fats)

litho-    Stone, calculus          Lithogenic (promoting formation of calculi)

-logy     Study                    Histology (study of tissue)

-lysis    Breaking up, dissolving  Glycolysis (breakdown of sugar)

macro-    Large                    Macrophage (large phagocytic cell)

mal-      Bad                      Malnutrition (bad nutrition)

-mania    Madness                  Necromania (morbid attraction to dead bodies)

malaco-   Soft                     Osteomalacia (soft bone)
mammo-    Breast                   Mammogram (X-ray film of breasts)

mast-     Breast                   Mastectomy (excision of the breast)

mega-     Great                    Megacolon (large colon)

melano-   Black                    Melanocyte (black pigment producing skin cell)

meso-     Middle, mid              Mesoderm (middle skin)

meta-     Beyond, after, change    Metastasis (beyond original position)

micro-    Small                    Microorganism (small organism)

mito-     Thread, filament         Mitosis (threadlike chromosomes/cell division)

mono-     One, single              Monosaccharide (one sugar)

-morph-   Form                     Morphology (study of form)

multi-    Many, much               Multinucleated (two or more nuclei)

myelo-    Marrow, spinal cord      Myeloid (derived from bone marrow)

myo-      Muscle                   Myocardium (heart muscle)

narco-    Numbness                 Narcotic (drug producing stupor or weakness)

necro-    Death                    Necropsy (examination of dead body)

neo-      New                      Neonatal (first four weeks of life)

nephro-   Kidney                   Nephrectomy (removal of a kidney)

neuro-    Nerve                    Neuritis (inflammation of a nerve)

oculo-    Eye                      Oculomotor (movement of the eye)

odonto-   Tooth or teeth           Odontomy (cutting a tooth)

-oid      Expressing resemblance   Epidermoid (resembling epidermis)

oligo-    Few, scanty, little      Oliguria (little urine)

-oma      Tumor                    Carcinoma (cancerous tumor)

omni-     All                      Omnidirectional (involving all directions)

-op-      See                      Myopia (nearsighted)

ophthalm-  Eye                     Ophthalmology (study of the eye)

ortho-    Straight, normal         Orthodontics (straightening of teeth)

-ory      Referring to             Olfactory (relating to the sense of smell)

-ose      Full of                  Adipose (full of fat)

-osis     A condition of           Osteoporosis (porous condition of bone)

osteo-    Bone                     Osteocyte (bone cell)

oto-      Ear                      Otolith (ear stone)

-ous      Expressing material      Serous (composed of serum)

pan-      All                      Panphobia (fear of everything)

para-     Beside, beyond, near to  Paranasal (near the nose)

-pathy    Disease                  Cardiopathy (disease of the heart)

pedo-     Child                    Pedophilic (fond of children)

-penia    Deficiency               Thrombocytopenia (deficiency of thrombocytes)

penta-    Five                     Pentamer (contains five monomers)

per-      Through, excessive       Permeate (pass through)

peri-     Around                   Periosteum (around bone)

-phag-    Eat                      Dysphagia (difficult eating or swallowing)

-phas-    Speak, utter             Aphasia (unable to speak)

-phil-    Like, love               Hydrophilic (water-loving)

phleb-    Vein                     Phlebotomy (incision into a vein)

phlogo-   Inflammation             Phlogogenic (causing inflammation)

-phobia   Fear                     Hydrophobia (fear of water)

phyto-    Plant                    Phytoestrogens (estrogens from plant sources)

-plas-    Form, grow               Neoplasm (new growth)

-plegia   Paralyze                 Paraplegia (paralysis of lower limbs)
pleo-     More than one            Pleomorphism (having more than one form)

-pne-     Breathe                  Apnea (lack of breathing)

pneumo-   Air, gas, or lungs       Pneumothorax (air in the thorax)

pod-      Foot                     Podiatry (treatment of foot disorders)

-poie-    Make                     Hematopoiesis (make blood cells)

poly-     Many, much               Polycythemia (excess red blood cells)

post-     After, behind            Postpartum (after childbirth)

pre-      Before, in front of      Prenatal (before birth)

pro-      Before, in front of      Prosect (to cut before-for demonstration)

procto-   Anus, rectum             Proctoscope (instrument for examining the rectum)

pseudo-   False                    Pseudostratified (falsely layered)

psycho-   Mind, soul               Psychosomatic (effect of the mind on the body)

pyo-      Pus                      Pyoderma (pus in the skin)

quasi-    Almost, resembling       Quasidominance (mimicking dominant inheritance)

re-       Back, again, contrary    Reflect (bend back)

reno-     Kidney                   Renocortical (cortex of kidney)

retro-    Backward, located behind   Retroperitoneal (behind the peritoneum)

rhino-    Nose                     Rhinodynia (pain in nose)

-rrhagia  Burst forth, pour        Hemorrhage (bleed)

-rrhea    Flow, discharge          Rhinorrhea (nasal discharge)

sarco-    Flesh or fleshy          Sarcoma (connective tissue tumor)

sclero-   Hard                     Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

-scope    Examine                  Endoscope (instrument) 

semi-     Half                     Semilunar (shaped like half a moon)

somato-   Body                     Somatotropin (hormone causing body growth)

-stasis   Stop, stand still        Hemostasis (stop bleeding)

-stat     Inhibit                  Bacteriostat (inhibiting growth of bacteria)

steno-    Narrow                   Stenosis (narrow canal)

-stomy    Make artificial opening  Tracheostomy (make an opening into the trachea)

sub-      Under                    Subcutaneous (under skin)

super-    Above, upper, excessive  Supercilia (upper brows)

supra-    Above, upon              Suprarenal (above kidney)

sym-      Together, with           Symphysis (growing together)

syn-      Together, with           Synapsis (joining together)

tachy-    Fast, swift              Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)

tetra-    Four                     Tetracetate (four acetic acid molecules)

therm-    Heat                     Thermometer (device for measuring heat)

toco-     Labor                    Tocophobia (dread of childbirth)

-tomy     Cut, incise              Phlebotomy (incision of a vein)

tox-      Poison                   Antitoxin (substance effective against poison)

trans-    Across, through, beyond  Transection (cut across)

tri-      Three                    Triceps (three-headed muscle)

-troph-   Nourish                  Hypertrophy (enlargement or overnourishment)

-tropic   Changing, influencing    Gonadotropic (influencing the gonads)

ultra-    Excess, beyond           Ultraviolet (beyond violet end of spectrum)

uni-      One                      Unilateral (one side)

-uria     Urine                    Polyuria (excess urine)

vaso-     Vessel                   Vasoactive (affecting caliber of blood vessels)

vene-     Vein                     Venesection (phlebotomy)

viscer-   Internal organ           Visceromotor (movement of internal organs)

vivi-     Alive                    Vivisection (surgery on living animals)

xeno-     Foreign                  Xenograft (graft of tissue to another species)

zoo-      Animal                   Zoogenous (acquired from animals)