GlobalRPh Medical Terminology Section

Prefixes And Suffixes Medical Terminology

Common Suffixes


(a is a noun ending)

cyanoderma (skin with a bluish discoloration)

Note: When a is used as a suffix, it is a noun ending; a can also be used as a prefix.



pertaining to cardiac (pertaining to the heart)



toward, increase

caudad (toward the tail or end of the body)



pertaining to duodenal (pertaining to the duodenum)



sensitivity to pain

analgesia (without sensitivity to pain)




cephalalgia (pain in the head; a headache)



pertaining to ventricular (pertaining to the ventricle)



pertaining to; relating to pulmonary (pertaining to the lungs)



something that

hemolysate (something that results from hemolysis)



embryonic stage of development leukoblast (immature white blood cell)



swelling or herniation

cystocele (herniation or protrusion of the urinary bladder through the wall of the vagina)



surgical puncture

amniocentesis (surgical puncture of the amniotic sac to remove fluid for laboratory analysis; an obstetrical procedure)



to kill; to destroy

spermicide (chemical substance that kills spermatozoa



crushing or breaking up

osteoclasis (the intentional surgical fracture of a bone to correct a deformity)




leukocyte (white blood cell)



binding or surgical fusion

arthrodesis (fixation of a joint by a procedure designed to accomplish fusion of the joint surfaces)




cephalodynia (pain in the head; a headache)



(e is a noun ending)

dermatome (instrument used to cut the skin; i.e., thin slices of skin for grafting)



pertaining to esophageal (pertaining to the esophagus)



stretching or dilatation gastrectasia (stretching or dilatation of the stomach)



surgical removal

appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix)



blood condition

hyperglycemia (blood condition in which there is a higher than normal level of glucose in the blood; high blood sugar)



one who

radiographer (one who takes and processes X-rays) –



condition of

enuresis (condition of urinary incontinence)



that which generates

glycogen (“that which generates sugar”)



generating; formation

lithogenesis (the formation of stones)



pertaining to, formation, producing

lithogenic (pertaining to the formation of stones)



record or picture

electrocardiogram (record of the electrical activity of the heart)



an instrument used to record

electrocardiograph (instrument used to record the electrical activity of the heart)



process of recording

electrocardiography (the process of recording the electrical activity of the heart)




multigravida (a woman who has been pregnant more than once; “many pregnancies”)



condition (ia is a noun ending)

paraplegia (condition of paralysis of the lower half of the body



specialist in a field of study

geriatrician (specialist in the field of study of the aging)



presence of an abnormal condition

cholelithiasis (abnormal presence of gallstones in the gallbladder)



relating to medicine, physicians, or medical treatment

pediatrics (field of medicine that deals with children)



one who treats; a physician

pediatrician (physician who treats children)



one who treats; a physician

psychiatrist (specialist in the study, treatment, and prevention of mental illness)



medical treatment, medical profession

psychiatry (field of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness)



pertaining to

thoracic (pertaining to the thorax)



pertaining to (-ical is the combination of ic al)

neurological (pertaining to the study of nerves)



specialist in a field of study

obstetrician (specialist in the field of study of pregnancy and childbirth)



pertaining to; capable

febrile (pertaining to fever)



action; process

conduction (process in which heat is transferred from one substance to another)




hirsutism (condition of excessive body hair in a masculine distribution pattern)




pharmacist (practitioner who is licensed to prepare and dispense medications)




appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix)



to make; to treat or combine with

anesthetize (to induce a state of anesthesia; to make one “feelingless”)



seizure, attack

narcolepsy (seizure or sudden attack of sleep)




rhinolith (stone or calculus in the nose)



presence or formation of stones

cholelithiasis (presence of gallstones)



the study of

biology (the study of living things)



one who specializes in the study of

biologist (one who specializes in the study of living things)



destruction or detachment

dialysis (removal or detachment of certain elements from the blood or lymph by passing them through a semipermeable membrane)




keratolytic (agent used to destroy hardened skin)



a mental disorder; a “madness”

megalomania (mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur: the patient believes he or she is someone of great importance)




cardiomegaly (enlargement of the heart)



an instrument used to measure

pelvimeter (instrument used to measure the diameter and capacity of the pelvis)



the process of measuring

pelvimetry (the process of measuring the dimensions of the pelvis)




mucoid (resembling mucus)



small or little

arteriole (smallest branch of the arterial circulation; a “small” artery)




lipoma (fatty tumor) -opia visual condition myopia (a condition of near sightedness)



visual condition

hemanopsia (blindness in one half of the visual field)



process of viewing

biopsy (removal of a small piece of living tissue from an organ or part of the body for “viewing” under a microscope)



pertaining to; characterized by

auditory (pertaining to hearing)




cyanosis (condition of blueness)



pertaining to

venous (pertaining to veins)




adenopathy (disease of a gland)



decrease in; deficiency

leukocytopenia (decrease in the number of white blood cells)



surgical fixation

colpopexy (surgical fixation of a relaxed vaginal wall)



attracted to

necrophilia (abnormal attraction to dead bodies)



abnormal fear

necrophobia (abnormal fear of death and dead bodies)



formation or development

hyperplasia (excessive formation or development)



surgical repair

rhinoplasty (surgical repair of the nose in which the structure of the nose is changed)




hemiplegia (paralysis of half of the body, of one side of the body)




dyspnea (difficult breathing)



drooping or prolapse

colpoptosis (prolapse of the vagina)



excessive flow or discharge

gastrorrhagia (bursting forth of blood from the stomach)




nephrorrhaphy (operation of suturing the kidney)



discharge; flow

rhinorrhea (flow or drainage from the nose)




arteriorrhexis (rupture of an artery)



an instrument used to view

ophthalmoscope (instrument used to view the interior of the eye)



the process of viewing with a scope

ophthalmoscopy (the process of using an ophthalmoscope to view the interior of the eye)



stopping or controlling

hemostasis (stopping or controlling the flow of blood)

venostasis (the trapping or “standing still” of blood in an extremity)



the surgical creation of a new opening

colostomy (surgical creation of a new opening between the colon and the surface of the body)



pertaining to

cyanotic (pertaining to blueness)



process of

relaxation (the process of reducing tension, as when a muscle relaxes after contraction)



incision into

phlebotomy (incision into a vein)



intentional crushing

lithotripsy (the crushing of a stone in the bladder; may be accomplished by ultrasound or by laser)



small, little

macula (small pigmented spot that appears separate from the surrounding tissue)



“small one”

venule (smallest vein that collects blood from a capillary)



a suffix that identifies singular nouns

duodenum (first part of the small intestines)



a characteristic of the urine

hematuria (presence of blood in the urine)Common Suffixes



a suffix that identifies singular nouns

coccus (singular bacterium)



(y is a noun ending)

myopathy (abnormal condition of the muscles)



Increasing your understanding of medical terminology

Word Building Reference– This resource strengthens your understanding of medical terminology. See how common medical terms are created using the various prefixes, suffixes, and root words.

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Medical Terminology Intuitive Section Hot Anim - Clinical And Medical Calculators From Global Rph
This section was developed for ‘speed learning’ of medical terminology.

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Additional references:

Prefixes denoting numbers
Prefixes denoting position and/or direction
Prefixes denoting measurement
Medical Terminology Noun Suffixes
Combining forms for color
Common Prefixes
Adjective Suffixes
Specialties and specialists med terms
Instruments, surgical, and diagnostic procedures
Negative prefixes
Common suffixes

Quick Introduction– provides an overview and introduction to medical terminology.
Medical Terms – rules governing singular versus plural versions of medical terms are described.