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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 of Med Terms

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Medical Terminology Reference – S

sacchar/o   sugar
sacr/o   sacrum
salping/o   fallopian tube; auditory (eustachian) tube
-salpinx   fallopian tube; oviduct
sangu/i   blood
sanit/a   health
sapr/o   rotten, decay
sarc/o   flesh (connective tissue)
scapul/o   scapula; shoulder blade
-schisis   to split
schist/o   split, cleft
schiz/o   split
sinistr/o   left
scint/i   spark
scirrh/o   hard
scler/o   sclera (white of eye)
-sclerosis   hardening
scolec/o   worm
scoli/o   crooked; bent
-scope   instrument for visual examination
-scopy   visual examination
scot/o   darkness
seb/o   sebum
sebace/o   sebum
sect/o   to cut
semi-   half
semin/i   semen; seed
-sepsis   putrefaction
seps/o   infection
sept/o   partition
ser/o   serum, serous
seven   hepta-, sept-, septi-
sial/o   saliva
sialaden/o   salivary gland
sider/o   iron
sigmoid/o   sigmoid colon
silic/o   glass
sinus/o   sinus
-sis   state of; condition
sit/o   food
six   hex-, hexa-, sex-
skelet/o   skeleton
-sol   solution
somat/o   body
-some   body
somn/o   sleep
-somnia   sleep
son/o   sound
-spadia   to tear; cut
span/o   scanty, scarce
-spasm   sudden contraction of muscles
spectr/o   image, spectrum
sperm/o   spermatozoa; sperm cells
spermat/o   spermatozoa; sperm cells
sphen/o   wedge; sphenoid bone
spher/o   globe-shaped; round
sphygm/o   pulse
-sphyxia   pulse
splanchn/o   viscera (internal organs)
spin/o   spine (backbone)
spir/o   to breathe
splen/o   spleen
spondyl/o   vertebra (backbone)
squam/o   scale
-stalsis   contraction
staped/o   stapes (middle ear bone)
staphyl/o   clusters; uvula
-stabile   stable, fixed
-stalsis   contraction
staped/o   stapes
-stasis   to stop; control; place
-stat   device/instrument for keeping something stationary
-static   pertaining to stopping; controlling
steat/o   fat; sebum
sten/o   narrowed, constricted
-stenosis   tightening; stricture
ster/o   solid structure; steroid
stere/o   solid; three-dimensional
stern/o   sternum (breastbone)
steth/o   chest
-sthenia   strength
stich/o   rows
stigmat/o   mark, point
-stitial   to set; pertaining to standing or positioned
stomat/o   mouth
-stomia   condition of the mouth
-stomy   new opening (to form a mouth)
strept/o   twisted chains
-stroma   supporting tissue of an organ
styl/o   pole or stake
sub-   under; below
submaxill/o   mandible (lower jaw bone)
succ/o   juice
sud/o   sweat
super-   above, beyond
-suppression   to stop
supra-   above; upper
sym-   together; with
symptom/o   occurrence
syn-   together; with
synaps/o, synapt/o   point of contact, to join
syncop/o   to cut off, cut short; faint
syndesm/o   ligament
synov/o   synovia; synovial membrane; sheath around a tendon
syring/o   tube
system/o   system
systol/o   contraction

For a quick overview and tutorial on medical terminology, check out our Introduction to Medical Terminology.


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