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[ 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 (word building)

a b c d e f g h i j k l m
n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Use this reference to see how common medical terms are created using the various prefixes, suffixes, and root words.

bactericide

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bacteri/o
1st Root Definition: bacteria
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -cide
Suffix Definition: killing
Definition: substance capable of killing bacteria

bactericidal

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bacteri/o
1st Root Definition: bacteria
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -cidal
Suffix Definition: pertaining to killing
Definition: pertaining to a substance capable of killing bacteria

bacteriophage

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bacteri/o
1st Root Definition: bacteria
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -phage
Suffix Definition: eat; swallow
Definition: virus that eats (infects) bacteria

balanitis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: balan/o
1st Root Definition: glans penis
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -itis
Suffix Definition: inflammation
Definition: inflammation of the penis

basolateral

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bas/o
1st Root Definition: base; opposite of acid
2nd Root Word: later/o
2nd Root Word Definition: side
Suffix: -al
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to the location in or on the base and one or more
sides

biliary tract

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bil/i
1st Root Definition: bile; gall
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ary
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to the gallbladder and bile ducts

binary

Prefix: bi-
Prefix Definition: two
1st Root Word:
1st Root Definition:
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ary
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to something composed with two parts

biologist

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bi/o
1st Root Definition: life
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -logist
Suffix Definition: specialist in the study of
Definition: specialist in the study of life

biology

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bi/o
1st Root Definition: life
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -logy
Suffix Definition: study (process of)
Definition: study of life

blastomere

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: blast/o
1st Root Definition: embryonic; immature cell
2nd Root Word: mer/o/e
2nd Root Word Definition: part
Suffix:
Suffix Definition:
Definition: any of the cells resulting from the cleavage of a fertilized ovum
during early embryonic development

blepharoplasty

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: blephar/o
1st Root Definition: eyelid
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -plasty
Suffix Definition: surgical repair
Definition: surgical repair of the eyelid

blepharospasm

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: blephar/o
1st Root Definition: eyelid
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -spasm
Suffix Definition: sudden contraction of muscles
Definition: sudden contraction of muscles of the eyelid

brachium

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: brachi/o
1st Root Definition: arm
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ium
Suffix Definition: structure; tissue
Definition: structure of the (upper) arm

brachycephalic

Prefix: brachy-
Prefix Definition: short
1st Root Word: cephal/o
1st Root Definition: head
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ic
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to a short skull; head

bradycardia

Prefix: brady-
Prefix Definition: slow
1st Root Word: cardi/o
1st Root Definition: heart
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ia
Suffix Definition: condition
Definition: condition of a slow heart rate

bronchiectasis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bronchi/o
1st Root Definition: bronchial tube
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ectasis
Suffix Definition: dilation; dilatation; widening
Definition: dilation; dilatation; widening of the bronchial tube

bronchitis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bronchi/o
1st Root Definition: bronchial tube
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -itis
Suffix Definition: inflammation
Definition: inflammation of the bronchial tube

buccolabial

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: bucc/o
1st Root Definition: cheek
2nd Root Word: labi/o
2nd Root Word Definition: lip
Suffix: -al
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to both the cheek and lip

bursa

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: burs/o
1st Root Definition: bursa (sac of fluid near joints)
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -a
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to the sac of fluid near joints

bursitis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: burs/o
1st Root Definition: bursa (sac of fluid near joints)
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -itis
Suffix Definition: inflammation
Definition: inflammation of the sac of fluid near joints