Formation of Medical Terms
The basic forms of medical terms, with examples of each, are described below. Of course, any particular medical term may take on an almost infinite variety of combinations of these three basic forms:
- Terms may be composed of a root + suffix.
Medical Term Root Meaning Suffix Meaning carcinoma carcin(o) crab oma tumor sarcoma sarc(o) flesh oma tumor cerebral cerebr brain al pertaining to
- Terms may be composed of a prefix + a root.
Medical Term Prefix Meaning Root Meaning neoplasm neo new plasm growth, formation biped bi two ped foot dysfunction dys difficult, painful function normal action
- Terms may be composed of a prefix + a root + a suffix.
Medical Term Prefix Meaning Root Meaning Suffix Meaning hypoglycemia hypo under glyc sugar emia blood encephalitis en in cepahl head itis inflammation of pericarditis peri around card heart itis inflammation of
- Some medical terms are composed of two roots.
Medical Term Root Meaning Root Meaning biostatistics bio life statistics numerical facts erythroblast erythr(o) red blast germ cell microfilm micr(o) small film
Click here for a series of exercises on the formation of medical terms.