You are here
[ 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

Medical Terminology Reference

Use this reference to see how common medical terms are created using the various prefixes, suffixes, and root words.

labiodental

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: labi/o
1st Root Definition: lip
2nd Root Word: dent/i
2nd Root Word Definition: tooth
Suffix: -al
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to a sound made with the lips and teeth

lactase

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lact/o
1st Root Definition: milk
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ase
Suffix Definition: enzyme
Definition: enzyme that breaks down milk sugar lactose into glucose

lactation

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lact/o
1st Root Definition: milk
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ion
Suffix Definition: process
Definition: process of secreting milk by the mammary glands

laparotomy

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lapar/o
1st Root Definition: abdominal wall; abdomen
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -tomy
Suffix Definition: process of cutting
Definition: surgical incision into the abdominal cavity

leukemia

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: leuk/o
1st Root Definition: white
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -emia
Suffix Definition: blood condition
Definition: the body forming too many white blood cells; type of cancer

leukocyte

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: leuk/o
1st Root Definition: white
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -cyte
Suffix Definition: cell
Definition: white blood cells

leukopenia

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: leuk/o
1st Root Definition: white
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -penia
Suffix Definition: deficiency
Definition: deficiency of white cells in the blood

lipoid

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lip/o
1st Root Definition: fat; lipid
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -oid
Suffix Definition: resembling; derived from
Definition: relating to resembling fat

liposuction

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lip/o
1st Root Definition: fat; lipid
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -suction
Suffix Definition: removal
Definition: procedure to remove excess fat by suctioning under the skin

lithotomy

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lith/o
1st Root Definition: stone; calculus
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -tomy
Suffix Definition: process of cutting
Definition: surgical procedure to remove a stone

lithotripsy

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lith/o
1st Root Definition: stone; calculus
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -tripsy
Suffix Definition: to cut
Definition: process of breaking stones into small particles that can pass
in urine

lumbar

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lumb/o
1st Root Definition: lower back; loin
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ar
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to the lower back; loin

lymphedema

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: lymph/o
1st Root Definition: lymph
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -edema
Suffix Definition: swelling
Definition: accumulation of fluid causing swelling in an area of the body