Prefixes & Sufixes

The following list is by no means complete, but it may help in understanding some difficult terminology. The following abbreviations are used ; Gr., for the Greek ; L., for the Latin.
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Term Definition
-ase

(suffix designating an enzyme), protease enzyme that acts on proteins.

-carp

(Gr., fruit), pericarp , wall around the plant ovary.

-chondro

(Gr., green), mitochondria , small, granular parts of protoplasm.

-cide

(L., kill), insecticide , agent that kills insects.

-dont

(Gr., odontos, tooth) or Thecodont.

-ectorny

(Gr., cut), appendectomy , removal of the appendix.

-emia

(Gr., blood), anaemia, blood deficiency.

-fer

(L., to bear), Porifera , phylum comprising pore- bearing sponges.

-form

(L., shape), uniform , all one shape.

-gen

(Gr., to produce), pathogenic , capable of causing disease.

-gest

(Gr., to bear or hold), ingest, to take in.

-glea

(Gr., jelly), mesoglea, middle, jelly-like layer in certain animals.

-itis

(Gr., inflammation), appendicitis, inflammation of the appendix.

-lemma

(Gr., covering), neurilemma , covering of a nerve.

-log

(Gr., study), zoology , study of animals.

-mere

(Gr., part), micromere , small part.

-oid

(Gr., like), amoeboid ( amoeboid ), like an Amoeba.

-oma

(Gr., swelling or tumor), carcinoma , malignant growth (cancer).

-phil!

(Or., loving), thermophile , heat-loving organism.

-phyll

(Or., leaf), mesophyll , middle part of a leaf.

-phyte

(Or., plant), sporophyte , spore-bearing plant.

-pkism

(Or., formed), ectoplasm , outer region of the cell cytoplasm.

-porous

(Or., foot), octopus , animal with eight feet or appendages.

-ptero

(Or., wing), Diptera , order of insect with two wings.

-sare

(Or., flesh), ectosarc , outer flesh or layer of protoplasm.

-scope

(Or., see) microscope , instrument enabling one to see minute ‘objects.

-see!

(I. ., to cut), dissect , to cut.

-semi-

(L., half), semicircle , half of a circle.

-thec

(Gr., case), spermatheca , sperm-case.

-tome

(Gr., to cut), microtome , instrument to cut small sections.

-ur

(Gr., tail, Anura , animals without tails.

a-or an-

(Gr., without or absent), asexual, without sex anaerobe organism that lives without free oxygen.

ab-

(L., away from or without), aboral, away from the mouth

acr, acri-, acis

(Gr-akris) Outermost top, point, tip

actin-actino

(Gr., ktis-ray)

ad-

(L., toward, upon, or equal), adrenal , relating to the kidney; adduct, to draw one part towards another.

ae

(L., plural ending of singular Latin nouns ending in a) alga and algae

aer-

(Gr, air), aerobe , organism that requires free air.

alb

(L., white), albino , organism exhibiting no pigment.

algia

(Gr., pain), neuralgia , pain in a nerve.

ambi-

(L., both), ambidextrous , being able to use eitherhand.

ambly

(Gr., ambulus, dull, dim) e.g. amblypoda, rangeextinct animals of the Eocene period.

amphi-

(Gr., on both sides), Amphibia , class of vertebrateanimals living in water and on land.

amyl-

(L., starch), amylase enzyme that changes starch to sugar.

ana-

(Gr., back or again), anabolism , building-up processof metabolism.

angio-

(Gr., enclosed), angiosperm , plant with enclosed or protected seeds.

ante-

(L., before in time or space), antedorsal , placed before dorsal.

antho-

(Gr., anthos = flower), Anthozoa-flower-like coelenterates.

anti-

(Gr., opposed or opposite), antitoxin , antibody opposed to or neutralizing a toxin.

antr-

(L., cavity), antrum , cavity of a bone.

apo-

(Gr., away or separate), apodeme , ingrowth from the exo-skeleton of most arthropods.

aqua-

(L., water), aquatic , living in water.

arch-

(Gr., early or chief), archenteron , early digestive tract or enteron ; Archeozoic , earliest era of geologic history.

areol-

(L., space), areolar , containing minute spaces.

arthr-

(Gr., joint), Arthropoda , phylum of invertebrateanimals with jointed appendages or feet.

asco-

(Gr., sac or bag), Ascomycetes , class of sac-bearing fungi.

aster-

(Gr., star), Asteroidea , class of echinoderms resembling stars.

auto-

(Gr., self), autosynthesis , self-building up.

axo, ax, axio, axon

(Gr., axine-axis)-pertaining to an axis.

bactér-

(Gr., baktron , a stick), bacteria , rod-shaped organisms.

basi-

(Gr., base) basidiospore , spore formed at the baseof a basidium.

bi

(Gr., base), bilateral , similar on both sides.

bio-

(Gr., life), biology , science of life.

blast-

(Gr., bud or young), blastoderm , primitive germlayer.

brachy-

(Gr., short), brachydactyly , abnormal shortness of the digits.

brady

(Gr., boadus, slow)

brevis

(L., short), adductor brevis , short adductor muscle.

bryo-

(Gr., moss), bryophyte , plant of the phylum comprising the mosses.

caec-

(L., blind), cecum , ( caecum ), blind pouch.

calci-

(L., lime), calcareous , containing lime.

cata-

(Gr., down), catabolism , breaking-down process of metabolism.

cauda-

(L., tail), caudal , relating to a tail. cay— (L., hollow), vena cava , hollow vein.

ceno-

(Gr., recent), Cenozoic , recent era of geologic history.

centr-

(L., center), centrosome , Léntre of activity during mitosis.

cephalo—

(Gr., head), cephalic , relating to, or toward the head.

chior-

(Gr., green), chlorophyll, green colouring matter of plants.

chondro-

(Gr., cartilage), chondrocranium , part of the cranium developing from cartilage.

chrom-

(Gr., color), chromatophore , colour-bearing cell.

cili

(L., eyelash), cilia , minute, hair-like processes.

circum-

(L., around), circumoesophageal , around the oesophagus.

cloaca

(L., sewer), cloaca , outlet for excretions. cnido- (Gr., nettle), cnidoblast , nettle cell of certain animals.

coel-

(Gr., hollow), coelom ( celom ), hollow body cavity.

coeno-

(Gr., common), coenosarc , common tissue in certain animals.

coleo-

 (Gr., sheathed), Coleoptera , order of sheathedinsects, such as beetles.

con-

(L., cone), conifer , cone-bearing tree ; or (L., with), concretion , something that has grown together.

corn-

(L., together), commensalism , living together.

cotyl-

(Gr., cup shaped), cotyledon , cup-shaped seed leaf.

creta-

(L., chalk), Cretaceous , chalk period of geologic times.

cyan-

(Gr., blue), Cyanophyta ,phylum of blue-green algae.

cyst-

(Gr., sac), cyst, pouch or sac.

cyt-

(Gr., cell), cytology , branch of biology studying cell structure and function.

de-

(L., off), degenerate , to lose generative ability, dehydration.

dendr-

(Gr., brush or tree), dendrite , tree-like structure of a nerve cell.

derrn-

(Gr., skin), dermis , part of the skin.

di-

(Gr., twice), diploblastic , possessing two germ layers ; dicotyledon , plant possessing two cotyledons.

dis-

(L., away), distal , away from the point of origin.

dors-

(L., back), dorsal , pertaining to the back.

dura-

(L., tough), duramater, tough, outer covering of the brain and spinal cord.

e-

(L., out of, without), egest , to pass outside.

ec-

(Gr., house or environment), ecology , study of the habitats of an organism.

ecto-

(Gr., outside), ectoderm , outer layer of cells.

en-

(Gr., in or within), encyst, to cover with a membranous cyst.

endo- or ento-

(Gr., within), endoderm , inner layer of cells.

eo-

(Gr., dawn, or early), Eocene , early geologic period.

epi-

(Gr., upon), epidermis , epithelial layer upon the dennis.

equi-

(L., horse), Equisetineae , class to which the horsetails belong.

eu-

(Gr., good or well), eugenic , being fitted for the production of good offspring.

ex-

(Gr., external), exoskeleton , external skeleton.

extra-

(L., beyond), extracellular , beyond or outside the cell.

flex-

(L,. bend), flexor , muscle that bends joints.

flu-

(L., thread), filiform , thread-like.

gam-

(Gr., marriage), gamete , reproductive cell.

gastr-

(Gr., stomach), gastric , pertaining to the stomach.

geo-

(Gr., earth), geology , science of the earth.

glyc-

(Gr., sweet or carbohydrate), glycogen animal starch.

gono-

(Gr., seed or reproduction), gonad , organ of reproduction.

gymn-

(Gr., naked), gymnosperm, class of seed plants whose seeds are not enclosed in an ovary.

haem-

(Gr., blood), haemoglobin, (haemoglobin), substance in the blood.

hemi-

(Gr., half), hemisphere , one half of a sphere.

hepat-

(Gr., liver), hepatic, pertaining to the liver.

hetero-

(Gr., other or different), heterogeneous, consisting of different constituents.

hex-

(Gr., six), hexagonal, six sided.

homo-

(Gr., same), homogeneous, of a similar kind.

hyal-

(Gr., glass), hyaline, something that is transparent or glass-like.

hydr-

(Gr., water), dehydrate, to remove water.

hymen-

(Gr., membrane), Hymenoptera, order of insects with membranous wings.

hyper-

(Gr., above), hypersensitive, especially sensitive.

hypo-

(Gr., under), hypoglossal, situated under the tongue.

in-

(L., in, into, not, without), invaginate , to infold one part within another.

infra-

(L., below), infraorbital, below the orbit.

inter-

(L., between), intercellular, between cells.

intra-

(L., inside), intracellular, within a cell.

iso

(Gr., equal), isothermic, having equal temperatures.

labi-

(L., lip), labium, lip.

lac-

(L., milk), lactose , milk sugar.

later-

(L., side), lateral , relating to the side.

lepi-

(Gr., scale), Lepidoptera , order of insects with scale wings.

leuko-

(Gr., white), leukocyte , white blood cell. lip- (Gr., fatty), lipoid , fatty substance.

luci-

(L., light), luciferin , light-producing material.

lysis

(Gr., destroy), bacteriolysis , desçruction of bacteria.

mal-

(Gr., bad), malnutrition , bad nutrition.

mega-

(Gr., large), megaspore , large spore.

mens-

(L., table), commensalism , eating at a common source of food.

meso-

(Gr., middle), mesoderm , middle cellular layer.

meta-

(Gr., after), metaphase , later phase of mitosis.

micro-

(Gr., small), micronucleus , small nucleus.

miii-

(Gr., thousand), millipede , animal with a “thousand” legs.

mio-

(Gr., less), Miocene , less recent period in geologichistory.

mito-

(Gr., thread), mitosis , cell division with the formation of thread-like structures.

mono-

(Gr., one), monograph, , something written about one subject.

morph-

(Gr., form), morphology , study of form.

multi-

(L., many), multi coloured , of many colours.

muta-

(L., to change), mutation , abrupt hereditary change.

myco-

(Gr., fungus), mycology , study of fungi.

myxo-

(Gr., slime), Myxomycophyta , phylum comprising the slime moulds.

nema-

(Gr., thread), nematocyst , thread-like structure of coelenterates.

neo-

(Or., young or recent), Neotropical , constituting a recent biogeographic region in the tropics.

nephro-

(Gr., kidney), iiephridium , tubular excretory organ.

non-

(L., not), non-irritant , not irritating.

noto-

(Gr. notos, The back), e.g. notochord.

nuc-

(L., kernel or centre), nucleus , central portion of a cell.

octo-

(L., eight), octopus , animal with eight appendages.

oedo-

(Gr., swollen), edema (oedema), swollen condition.

oligo-

(Gr., few or little), oligotrichous , having few cilia.

omni-

(L., omnis-all) e.g. omnivore.

Oo-

(Gr., egg), oogenesis , formation and development of an egg.

or-

(L., mouth), oral , pertaining to the mouth.

ortho-

(Gr., straight), Orthoptera , order of insects with straight wings.

Os-

(Gr., bone), osseQus , pertaining to bone.

ovi-

(L., egg), ovum , egg.oviparous mammals

pakiio-

(Gr., ancient), palaeontology , study of ancient life.

para-

(Gr., beside), parapodia , appendages beside others.

path-

(gr., disease), pathogenic , capable of causing disease.

ped-

(L., feet), pedal , pertaining to the foot.

peri-

(Gr., around), peristome , region around an opening or mouth.

phaeo-

(Or., dark or brown), Phaeophyta , phylum of brown algae.

phago-

(Or., to eat), phagocyte , cell that eats or destroys.

phor-

(Or., to bear), sporophore , part of a sporophyte that bears spores.

photo-

(Or., light), photosynthesis , formation of carbohydrates in the presence of light.

phyco-

(Or., alga, or seaweed), Phycomycetes , alga like fungus.

physio-

( Or., nature), physiology , study of the nature or function of living matter.

platy-

(Or., nat), Platyhelminthes, phylum of Flatworms.

plio-

(Or., more), Pliocene , more recent geologic period.

poly-

(Or., many), Polymorphous , having many for iris.

post-

(L., after), postnatal , after birth.

pre-

(L. before), prenatal , before birth.

pro-

(Or., before), prostomium , portion ofthe head situated before the mouth of certain worms and molluscs.

proto-

(Or., first of essential), protoplasm , essential material of all plant and animal cells.

prox-

(L., nearest), proximal , nearest.

pseudo-

(Or., false), pseudopodia , false feet.

re-

(I. ., again or back), regenerate , to form again.

ren-

(I.., kidney), renal , pertaining to the kidney.

rept-

(I. ., creeping), reptile , creeping animal.

retro-

(I. ., backward), retrolingual , backward from the tongue.

rhabdo

(Or., rhabdos-rod), e.g. rhab, possessing straight rod-like intestine.

rhizo-

(Or., root), Rhizopoda , subclass of animals with root-like appendages.

rhodo-

(Or., red), Rhodophyta , phylum of red algae.

roti-

(I.., wheel), rotifer , animal with a wheel-like structure on its head.

schizo-

(Or., to divide), Schizomycophyta , phylum of fission fungi (bacteria).

scler-

(Or., hard), sclerotic , hard.

sept-

(L., wall), septum , partition.

set-

(L., bristle), seta , bristle-like structure.

sinu-

(L., hollow), sinus , hollow cavity.

soma-

(Gr., body), somatoplasm , protoplasm of the body.

spor-

(Gr., seed), spore , reproductive structure.

stoma-

(Gr., opening), stoma , opening, such as is found in leaves.

sub-

(Gr., under), submaxillary , under the maxilla.

super-

(L., over or above), superior , higher, upper, or above.

supra-

(L., above), suprarenal , above the kidney .

sym-

(Gr., together), symbiosis , living together.

syn-

(Gr., together), synapsis , association or union.

taxo-, taxi-, taxis

(Gr., taxis-arrangement).

telo-

(Gr., complete or end), telophase , end stage of cell division.

terato-

(Gr., marvel, or monster),teratology, study ofmonstrosities or deviations from the normal.

tetra-

(Gr., four), tetrapod , something that has four feet.

thermo-

(Gr., heat), thermotropism , reaction to heat.

thigmo-

(Gr., contact), thigmotropism , reaction to contact.

ti-

(L., to turn), Vorticella , animal that turns as it moves.

toxi-

(Gr., poison), toxin , poison.

trans-

(Gr., across), transfer , to carry across.

tri-

(Gr., three), trilobed , having three lobes.

tricho-

(Gr., hair), trichocyst , hair-like structure.

trop-

(Gr., reaction), tropism , reaction to stimuli.

ultra-

(L., beyond), ultramicroscopic, so small that it is beyond the microscope.

uni-

(L, one), unilateral , on one side.

vas-

(L., vessel), vas deferens , vessel to transmit male sex cells.

ventr-

(Gr., belly), ventral , pertaining to the lower or belly side.

xantho-

(Gr., xanthos, yellow) : eg. xanthophyll, yellowpigment.

xen-, xeno-

(Gr., xen-strange-different)

xero-

(Gr., xeros-dry) e.g. xerophyte e.g. climatic plant

xiphi-

(Gr., xiphos, a sword) : e.g. xiphiosura, king crabs the hind part bearing a long tail spine

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