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Medical terminology is composed of a prefix, root word, and suffix:
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.
Additional resources:   [Intro to med terms] [Med terms rules] [Med term reference] [Word building reference]  [Practice Exams]

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.

rectal

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: rect/o
1st Root Definition: rectum
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -al
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to the rectum

relapse

Prefix: re-
Prefix Definition: back; again; backward
1st Root Word:
1st Root Definition:
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -lapse
Suffix Definition: to slide; fall; sag
Definition: fall back from improvement

respiration

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: respir/o
1st Root Definition: breath
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ation
Suffix Definition: process; condition
Definition: process of breathing

resuscitation

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: resuscit/o
1st Root Definition: to revive
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -ation
Suffix Definition: process; condition
Definition: process of reviving someone from death or unconsciousness

retinoblastoma

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: retin/o
1st Root Definition: retina
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -blastoma
Suffix Definition: immature tumor (cells)
Definition: cancerous tumor of the retina

rhinoplasty

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