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Medical TERMINOLOGY

[ 1 ] Quick Introduction.

[ 2 ] Word Building Reference: new icon   This is a great reference to help strengthen your understanding of medical terminology.   See how common medical terms are created using the various prefixes, suffixes, and root words.

[ 3 ]  Medical Terms – Singular versus plural rules

[ 4 ]  Medical Terminology Exams  new icon   Twenty new exams were created to test your knowledge of medical terminology.

[ 5 ]  Medical Terms – Prefixes, roots, suffixes (see links below)

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.
Example: cholecystitis. Root = ‘cholecyst/o’ -Definition: gallbladder and the suffix is ‘itis’ – Definition: inflammation. Translation: inflammation of the gallbladder.

Alphabetical Listing of Med Terms

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n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Medical Terminology Reference – P

pachy-   heavy; thick
-pagus   conjoined twins 
palat/o   palate (roof of mouth) 
pale/o   old
pali-   recurrence, repetition
palliat/o   to soothe, relieve
palpebr/o   eyelid
palp/o, palpat/o   to touch gently
palpit/o   flutter, throbbing
pan-   all
pancreat/o   pancreas
pant/o   all, whole 
papill/o   nipple-like; optic disc 
papul/o   papule, pimple 
par-   other than; abnormal 
para-   near; beside; abnormal; apart from; along the side of 
-para   to bear, bring forth (live births) 
-parous   to bear, bring forth 
parasit/o   parasite
parathyroid/o   parathyroid glands 
-paresis   weakness
-pareunia   sexual intercourse 
-partum   birth; labor 
patell/a   patella
patell/o   patela
path/o   disease
-pathy   disease; emotion 
pector/o   chest
pedicul/o   louse 
ped/o   child; foot 
pelv/i   pelvis; hip region 
pelv/o   pelvis; hip region 
pend/o   to hang 
-penia   deficiency
-pepsia   digestion
per-   through
percuss/o   to tap
peri-   surrounding
perine/o   perineum
peritone/o   peritoneum
per/o   deformed, maimed
perone/o   fibula
perspir/o   breathe through 
petr/o   stone, petrous region of temporal bone 
-pexy   fixation; to put in place 
phac/o   lens of eye 
phag/o   eat; swallow 
-phage   eat; swallow 
-phagia   eating; swallowing 
phak/o   lens of eye 
phalang/o   phalanges (of fingers and toes) 
phall/o   penis
phaner/o   visible, apparent
pharmac/o   drug
pharmaceut/o   drug
pharyng/o   throat (pharynx) 
phas/o   speech
-phasia   speech
phe/o   dusky; dark 

-pheresis   removal
phil/o   like; love; attraction to 
-phil   attraction for 
-philia   attraction for 
phim/o   muzzle
phleb/o   vein
phob/o   fear
-phobia   fear
phon/o   voice; sound 
-phonia   voice; sound 
-phor/o   to bear 
-phoresis   carrying; transmission 
-phoria   to bear, carry; feeling (mental state) 
phosphat/o   phosphate
phot/o   light
phren/o   diaphragm; mind 
-phthisis   wasting away 
-phylaxis   protection
phyl/o   race, species, type 
physi/o   nature; function 
physic/o   physical, natural 
-physis   to grow 
phys/o   air, gas
phyt/o   plant
-phyte   plant
picr/o   bitter
pies/i, -piesis   pressure
pil/o   hair
pimel/o   fat, fatty 
pineal/o   pineal gland 
pin/o   to drink 
pituitar/o   pituitary gland 
-plakia   plaque
plan/o   flat, level, wandering 
plant/o   sole of the foot 
plas/o   development; formation 
-plasia   development; formation 
-plasm   formation; structure 
-plastic   pertaining to formation 
-plasty   surgical repair 
platy-   broad, flat 
ple/o   more; many 
-plegia   paralysis; palsy 
-plegic   paralysis; palsy 
pleur/o   pleura
plex/o   plexus; network (of nerves) 
-pnea   breathing
pneum/o   lung; air; gas 
pneumon/o   lung; air; gas 
pod/o   foot
-poiesis   formation
-poietin   substance that forms 
poikil/o   varied; irregular 
pol/o   extreme
polio-   gray matter (of brain or spinal cord) 
poly-   many; much 
polyp/o   polyp; small growth 
pont/o   pons ( a part of the brain) 
por/o, -pore   opening, passageway 
-porosis   condition of pores (spaces) 
-posia   drinking 
posit/o   arrangement, place 
post-   after; behind 
poster/o   back (of body); behind 
-prandial   meal
-praxia   action
pre-   before; in front of 
presby/o   old age 
primi-   first
pro-   before; forward 
proct/o   anus and rectum 
pros-   before; forward 
pros/o   forward, anterior 
prosop/o   face 
prostat/o   prostate gland 
prot/o   first
prote/o   protein
proxim/o   near
prurit/o   itching
psamm/o   sand, sand-like material
pseudo-   false
psor/o   itching
psych/o   mind
psychr/o   cold 
-pterygium   abnormality of the conjunctiva 
-ptosis   droop; sag; prolapse; protrude 
ptyal/o   saliva
-ptysis   spitting
pub/o   pubis (anterior part of hip bone) 
pulmon/o   lung
puls/o, pulsat/o   to beat, beating 
-puncture   to pierce a surface 
pupill/o   pupil (dark center of eye) 
purpur/i   purple
purul/o   pus
py/o   pus
pycn/o   thick, dense 
pyel/o   renal pelvis 
pyl/e   portal vein 
pylor/o   pylorus; pyloric sphincter 
pyr/o   fever; fire 
pyret/o   fever
pyrex/o   fever

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