Prefixes, Roots & Suffixes of Latin and Greek Origin
Compiled and edited by Chris Uhl, Dec. 1997

A
a-, ab-, separate, apart from, away from
acro- extremity
ad- to, near, or towards
affinis liking, predilection
ala- wing
alveolar small cavity
amnion foetal membrane
amphi- around, double, both
ampulla swollen vessel
an- without
ana- according to, leading to (reinforces a meaning)
anastomosis communication, join
angio- vessel
angulum angle
ankylosis stiffening
annulus ring-like
anus posterior intestinal orifice
apo- from
-apsid, apsis arch
arach- spider-like
arch- ancient, former
arrector erecting
atrium entrance space, or cavity
audio- hearing
auricle ear-like
auto- self (Note that autopsy is a meaningless, or at least inaccurate expression; necropsy is correct.)
axial central, at the axis
axis central line
B
bas- at the base
bi- two, double.
bios-, -biont living thing
-blast cell, simple group of cells
-blasto- germ, cell, primitive organisation
brachium arm
brancial gills
bronchus breathing duct
buccal connected with the mouth cavity
bulb- bulbous
C
caecum- part of intestine
calyx husk, covering
canine- dog-like, or connected with a dog
caput- head
cardia heart
carno- connected with flesh
carpus wrist
cavus hollow
cephal- head, brain
cera- horn
-cerc tail
cerebrum part of brain
cervix neck (generally, that of the womb)
choan- funnel-shaped
chondro- cartilage
-chondrous cartilaginous
chord string, chord
chorion skin
chrome colour, hue
chromo coloured
chyme juice
cilia threads
ciliary eyelash, cilium
circum- around
-clast break
cloaca common sexual orifice
cnem- lower leg
cochlea spiral of inner ear
coelom body cavity of coelomate animals (q.v.)
colon large gut
columella small column
conch- as an oyster shell
-condyle knob
constrict- drawing together
copro- faeces
corium see chorion
corni- horny
coronary encircling, wreath-like, esp. cardiac blood vessels
cortex, corti- outher layer (cf. medulla)
cosm- orderly arrangement, spatial design
costa- rib
-crania head
cranium skull
cribri- sieve
cric- ring
crist- crest
crus, crura- leg-like
cten- comb
cune- wedge
cuti- skin
cyclo- circle (cyclops, one eyed)
cyst- bladder
cyto-, cyte cell
D
de- down, away from, lacking
dens tooth
derm skin
derma- skin (topographically, beneath 'cutis')
di-, dia- through, between, apart, across
digit finger
disc flat round plate
distal further, furthest, away from
dorsal back
ductor, -ducens leading
E
e-, ex- away from, out of
ecto- outer
ek-, ekto- outside
en-, endo- within, internal
enteron cavity
epi- on, upon
eryth- red
ethmo- sieve
ex- out of
F
facie- appearance of
-factor making
falci- sickle
fasci- band
-ferens carrying
fibre thin strand
fibril fine thread
filo- soft, fine thread.
fimbrae threads, or a fringe
flagellum, -a whip-like organelle (not flagella, -ae)
flex- bent
flocc- soft, woolly mass
follicle small sac
fornix arch, vault
fovea pit
front brow
fundus deep region, a rounded sac
funic a strand
G
gast- stomach
-gen producing
genit- connected with reproductive organs
germ connected with cellular growth
glans an acorn-like protusion (e.g. plans penis)
glen- socket-like
glom- spherical
gloss- tongue
-glotta tongue
gluteo- hind-quarters, buttock
gnath- jaw
granul- small particles
guano faeces
gula- throat
gyro- turning
H
haem- blood, blood-red
hemi- half
hepa- liver
hetero- different, other (cf. homo-)
hippo- horse
histo- originally 'web'; now tissues or their structure
holo- whole, entire
homo- same, identical (cf. hetero-)
horm- stimulating
humo- fluid, liquid
hyal- translucent, wax-like
hyoid Y- or U-shaped
hyo- Y-shaped
hypo- beneath
I
-ichthys fish
-iform -like
in- within, not, or on
incus anvil
infra- below
infundibulum funnel
inguin- groin
inter- between (cf. intra-)
intra- inside, within
iris- originally 'multicoloured'
ischio- hip
iso- equal
L
labia- lips
lacer- tearing
lacrima- tears (of eye)
lamina a thin, uniform sheet
latera- along the side
ledi- scale
-lemma husk, covering
luteo- yellow
leuco- white
levator raising
ligament strap, originally a bandage
-lingus tongue
lipid fatty material
lob- lobe, region
-logy study of
lopho- ridge
lucid- clear
lumbar pertaining to the loins
lymph- body fluid
M
macro- large (cf. micro-)
macula mark
major greater
malleus hammer-like
mamma- breast
masto- breast
meatus tube, open passage
media- central
medulla core, inner region (cf. cortex)
mela- blackness
meninx,(pl. meninges) originally membranes, esp. of brain and spinal cord
-mere part
meso- middle
meta- after, coming later, next in line
micro- very small (cf. macro-)
minor lesser
mono- single
multus- many
myelo marrow
myo- muscle
N
naris, -es nostrils
necros death
neo- new
nephro- connected with simple kidney structures
nephros type of kidney
neuro- nerve
nicti- connected with eyelid 'winking'
node knot, constriction
-nomic named as, law
noto- back (ventral surface)
nucha connected with the nape of the neck
O
oblique slanting
oculo- eye
odont- tooth
-oid in the form of
olfacto- to smell
-omos shoulder
omphalo- navel
onto- existing organismus phenomena
opercul- lid, door
ophthalmo- eye
opistho- behind, retarded
optic visual
os- bone
-osteo bones
ostium hole
otic pertaining to the ear
ovum egg, egg-cell
oxy- acidic
P
palaeo- ancient
pallium thin covering
-pallium covering
palma palm of hand
pan- all, universal
papilla pimple
para- near, alongside, associated with
parie- wall
pecten hair-comb, now comb-like
pectoral breast
ped- foot
pelvis hip-bone
pend- suspended
peri- around
phaeo- brown
phag eat
phall- penis
pharynx throat
phil- affinity
-phore bearer
photo-, phos- light
phyl- race, distinct types of organismus
-physis growth
-phyte plant
-pile felt, mat
pinna flap, wing, ear member
pisi- pea-like
plac- flat plate
-plasm fluid substance
plasm, plasma fluid, formless substance
-plat flat
pleuro- from the side, ribs
plex- web, interlacing threads
pneumo- breath, airway
-podium foot
poikilo- changeful
pons- brigde
por- opening, passageway
port- gateway
potamo- river
pous foot
pre-, prae- before
pressor- depressing mechanism
prim- first
pro- before, prior, for
proct- anus
proto- first
pteri- thin, wing, fern-like
-pterid wing-like
pubi- originally mature, now connected with pubic region of body
pulmo- long
pyg- rear, posterior
pyri- pear
Q
quad- four
R
rachi- spine-like
radi- as a radius
rect- straight
renal kidney
retic- network
retro- back, reverse
rheo- flow
rhin- nose
rhombo- as a parallelogram
rostrum projection
rota- rotating
rumin- to do with chewing
S
sac- bag
sagitt- arrow
sarc- flesh
scal- scale
sclera- hard, dry
sebum grease
selen- moon
sem- pertaining to male reproductive cells
sept- partition
sinus duct
soma-, -some body, bodily
sperm- see sem-; also seed
sphen- wedge
sphinct- circular clasping
spina spine
spirac- breathing vent
splanchn- visceral
-spondyle back-bone figure
stapes stirrup
sternum chest-bone
stero- spatial, solid
stoma- opening, mouth
strat- layer
styl-, style pillar, thin cylinder, point
sub- beneath
sulcus groove
super, ra- above
sym-, syn- together
syrinx tube
T
tab- as a table
tact- touch
tapet- 'carpet'
tarsus pertaining to foot
taxis- movement
tect- roof, covering
-tegument covering
telo- end, termination
temp- time
termin- ending
test- covering, or testicle
tetra- four
-thalamus chamber
theca- casing, sheath
-therm heat
thermo- warm
thorax chest
thromb- coagulum, clot
-tome a cut
trabec- strut
trachea windpipe
tre-, tri three
tribo- lubrication
-trichia hair
troch- pulley-wheel, or similar to one
troph- turning, bending to, nourishment
tuber- a lump
tunic- similar to a 'vest'
turbin- turing, spiral
tymp- drumskin-like
U
unci- hook
uro- urine, tail
V
vagina depressed opening
valva- a small valve
vas vessel
venter, -ral beneath, opposite to dorsal (q.v.)
verm worm
vescic- fluid-filled bladder-like cavity
vestibul- entrance chamber
vibriss- bristle
villus finger-like microscopic projection
viscera- pertaining to abdominal organs
visu- sight
vitell- pertaining to egg
vitr- glass-like
vivi living
vomer ploughshare
X
xero- dry
xiphi- from sword (hence, sword-like)
Z
zoo- animal
zygo yoke, fusion, paired
zygoma- cheek
-zyme yeast