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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.

vaginal

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

varicocele

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: varic/o
1st Root Definition: varicose veins
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -cele
Suffix Definition: hernia; swelling
Definition: swelling of varicose veins

vasoconstriction

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: vas/o
1st Root Definition: vessel; duct
2nd Root Word: constrict/o
2nd Root Word Definition: narrowing; binding
Suffix: -ion
Suffix Definition: process
Definition: constriction; narrowing of blood vessels

venosclerosis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: ven/o
1st Root Definition: vein
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -sclerosis
Suffix Definition: hardening
Definition: hardening of the walls of a vein

venospasm

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: ven/o
1st Root Definition: vein
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -spasm
Suffix Definition: sudden contraction of muscles
Definition: sudden contraction of a vein

venostasis

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: ven/o
1st Root Definition: vein
2nd Root Word:
2nd Root Word Definition:
Suffix: -stasis
Suffix Definition: to stop; control; place
Definition: abnormal stopping of blood flow in a vein

ventrodorsal

Prefix:
Prefix Definition:
1st Root Word: ventr/o
1st Root Definition: belly side of body
2nd Root Word: dors/o
2nd Root Word Definition: back (of body)
Suffix: -al
Suffix Definition: pertaining to
Definition: pertaining to a direction from the front to the back

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