Chapter Four: Essentials Of Medical Terminology Prefixes

Medical Terminology Prefixes
  
Created Jun 18, 2010
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ADDITIONAL WORD PARTS
ROOTS AND SUFFIXES USED TO BUILD MEDICAL TERMS
ROOT
MEANING
cellul/o
cell
cis/o
 to cut
comat/o
deep sleep
digest/o
digestion
duct/o
to draw
later/o
side/ lateral
nat/o
birth
sept/o
infection
son/o
sound
SUFFIX
MEANING
-aise
ease
-ar
pertaining to 
-cuspid
projection; cusps
-drome
to run
-form
shape; form
-genous
produced by
-gnosis
knowledge
-mortem
death
-plasm
development; formation
-plegia
paralysis
version
turning; tilting
PREFIXES REFERRING TO DIRECTION AND POSITION
THE FOLLOWING PREFIXES TELL US WHICH DIRECTION, WHERE, WHEN, AND HOW MUCH
ab- 
away from
-ion
process
duct/o
to draw
abduction
process of drawing away from
ad-
toward
-ion
process
duct/o
to draw
adduction
process of drawing toward
ante-
before
-al
pertaining to 
nat/o
birth
antenatal
pertaining to before birth, referring to the fetus; prenatal NOTE: Fetus is the name given...
circum-
around
-ion
process
duct/o
 to draw
circumduction
process of drawing a part in a circular motion
dia-
-meter
diameter
measurement from edge to edge of a circle NOTE: In this word, the suffix -meter means measurement...
-gnosis
knowledge
diagnosis
one disease is different from another disease after complete knowledge of the disease is obtained...
ecto-
outside
-genous
produced by; produced from
ectogenous
produced from the outside; infection that originates from the outside
endo-
within
-scope
instrument used to visually examine a body cavity or organ
endoscope
instrument used to visually examine a body cavity or organ NOTE: Endoscopes are named after...
epi-
upon; on; above
-ic
pertaining to 
gastr/o
stomach
epigastric
pertaining to upon the stomach
e-; ex-; exo-; extra-
out; outward; outside
-version
process of turning
eversion
process of turning out, as in the turning of the sole of the foot outward 
-ion
process
cis/o
cut
excision
process of cutting out
-ar
pertaining to 
ocul/o
eye
extraocular
pertaining to outside the eye
hyper-
excessive; above
-plasia
formation; development
hyperplasia
excessive formation; increase in the number of normal cells
hypo-
below; under; deficient
-ic
pertaining to 
gastr/o
stomach
hypogastric
pertaining to below the stomach
in-
in; into
-ion
process
cis/o
to cut
incision
process of cutting into NOTE: Types of incisions include (A) Mc Burney, over the appendix;...
-version
process of turning
inversion
process of turning in, as in the turning of the sold of the foot inward 
infra-
below; beneath
-al
pertaining to 
cost/o
rib
infracostal
pertaining to below the ribs
inter-
between
-ar
pertaining to 
cellul/o
cell
intercellular
pertaining to between the cells
intra-
within
-al
pertaining to 
crani/o
skull
intracranial
pertaining to within the skull
meta-
beyond
-plasia
formation; development
metaplasia
change in formation
-stasis
stopping; controlling
metastasis
the uncontrolled spread of cancerous cells from one organ to another NOTE: A malignant tumor...
para-
beside; near
-al
pertaining to 
nas/o
nose
paranasal
pertaining to near the nose
per-
through
-ous
pertaining to
cutane/o
skin
percutaneous
pertaining to through the skin
peri-
around
-itis
inflammation
neur/o
nerve
perineuritis
inflammation around a nerve
post-
after
-mortem
death
postmortem
after death
pre-
before; in front of 
-al
pertaining to 
nat/o
birth
prenatal
pertaining to before birth, referring to the fetus
pro-
before
-drome
to run
prodrome
symptom or symptoms occurring before the onset of disease.  For example, chest pain, tiredness,...
-gnosis
knowledge
prognosis
prediction or forecast of the outcome of the disease
retro-
back; behind
-version
process of turning
retroversion
backward turning or tipping of an organ
sub-
under; below
-ous 
pertaining to 
cutane/o
skin
subcutaneous
pertaining to under the skin; for example subcutaneous fat
-al
pertaining to 
lingu/o
tongue
sublingual
pertaining to under the tongue
supra-
above
-al
pertaining to 
ren/o
kidney
suprarenal
pertaining to above the kidney
trans-
across
-ion
process
sect/o
cut
transection
process of cutting across
ultra-
beyond
-graphy
process of recording
son/o
sound
ultrasonography
process of recording an image of internal structures by using high frequency sound waves; also...
NEGATIVE PREFIXES
PREFIXES THAT MEAN AGAINST, NOT, OR LACKING
anti-
against
-tic
pertaining to 
bi/o
life
antibiotic
drug used to kill harmful bacteria
a-; an-
no; not; lack of 
-ic
pertaining to 
sept/o
infection
aseptic
free from infectious material
-emia
blood condition
anemia
lack of red blood cells (RBC's); lack of hemoglobin (Hgb)
contra-
against; opposite
-al 
pertaining to 
later/o
side
contralateral
pertaining to the opposite side
in-
not
-ible
able to be; tending to 
digest/o
digestion
indigestible
not capable of being digested
PREFIXES REFERRING TO NUMBERS
PREFIXES THAT TELL US HOW MANY
bi-; di-
two
-al
pertaining to 
later/o
side
bilateral
pertaining to two sides
-ion
pertaining to 
sect/o
to cut
dissection
to cut into two pieces 
hemi-; semi-
half
-ectomy
excision
gastr/o
stomach
hemigastrectomy
excision of half the stomach
semi-
half
comat/o
deep sleep
semicomatose
state of unconsciousness from which the patient may be aroused
mono-; uni-
one
-cyte
cell
monocyte
blood cell with a single nucleus 
-al
pertaining to 
later/o
side
unilateral
pertaining to one side
multi-; poly-
many
-form
shape; form
multiform
having many shapes
-oma
tumor
aden/o
gland
polyadenoma
tumor of many glands
quadri- 
four
-al
pertaining to 
later/o
side
quadrilateral
pertaining to four sides
tri-
three
-cuspid
projection; cusp
tricuspid
three cusps or projections NOTE: The tricuspids or molars are teeth with three projections...
MISCELLANEOUS PREFIXES
PREFIXES THAT TELL US VARIOUS QUALITIES
ana-
apart; up
-tomy
process of cutting; to cut
anatomy
the study of the structure of the body NOTE: This term is derived from the fact that, to study...
auto-
self
-opsy
to view
autopsy
internal and external examination of the body after death to determine the cause of death;...
brady-
slow
-ia
state of; condition
cardi/o
 heart
bradycardia
pertaining to a slow heartbeat
dys-
bad; abnormal; difficult; painful
-plasia
development; formation
dysplasia
abnormal development
macro-
large
-ia
state of; condition
cephal/o
head
macrocephalia
excessively large head
mal-
bad
-aise
ease
malaise
a feeling of uneasiness or discomfort; a sign of illness
micro
small
-scope
instrument used to visually examine
microscope
instrument used to visually examine very small objects
neo-
new
-plasm
development; formation
neoplasm
new formation of tissue such as an abnormal growth or tumor
pan-
all 
-ectomy
excision; surgical removal
hyster/o
uterus
panhysterectomy
excision of all the uterus
syn-; sym-
together; with; joined
-tic
pertaining to 
arthr/o
joint
synarthrotic
a type of joint in which the bones are joined
-metry
process of measuring
symmetry
like parts on opposite sides of the body are similar in form, size, and position
tachy-
fast; rapid
-ia
condition
cardi/o
heart
tachycardia
pertaining to fast heartbeat of over 100 beats per minute
tetra-
four
-plegia
paralysis
tetraplegia
paralysis of all four limbs; also known as quadriplegia
SUMMARY OF PREFIXES THAT HAVE THE SAME MEANING
PREFIXES THAT MEAN THE SAME THING
MEANING
PREFIX
above
epi-; hyper-; supra-
against
anti-; contra-
around
circum-; peri-
bad
dys-; mal-
before
ante-; pre-; pro-
below
hypo-; infra-; sub-
half
hemi-; semi-
many
multi-; poly-
one
mono-; uni-;
outside
e-; ex-; extra-; ecto-; exo-
within
endo-; intra-
SUMMARY OF PREFIXES THAT HAVE THE OPPOSITE MEANING
PREFIXES THAT MEAN EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF EACH OTHER
MEANING
PREFIX
away from
ab-
toward
ad-
before
ante-; pre-; pro-
after
post
above
epi-; hyper-; supra
below
hypo-; infra-; sub-
fast
tachy-
slow
brady-
excessive
hyper-
deficient
hypo-
large
macro-
small
micro-
apart
ana-
together; with; joined
syn-


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