Basic Medical Terminology

anemia
“without blood” – Low Red Blood Count

excise
to cut out

polyuria
excessive amount of urine

anatomy
the study of the structure of the body

cholecystectomy
excision of the gallbladder

hemorrhoidectomy
excision of the hemorrhoids

oophorectomy
exicision of the ovary

cystectomy
excision of the bladder

excision
to remove or take out

incision
to cut into

arthr/o
joint

bronch/o
bronchus

cardi/o
heart

carp/o
wrist

cerebr/o
cerebrum

cervic/o
cervix

cholecyst/o
gallbladder

chondr/o
cartilage

col/o
colon

colp/o
vagina

cost/o
rib

crani/o
cranium (skull)

cyst/o
bladder

dent/o
teeth

derm/o
skin

encaphal/o
brain

gastr/o
stomach

hepa, hepat/o
liver

hyster/o
uterus

mast/o
breast

my/o
muscle

neur/o
nerve

nephr/o
kidney

oste/o
bone

ot/o
ear

pneum/o
lungs

proct/o
rectum, anus

pyel/o
pelvis of kidney

rhin/o
nose

spondyl/o
vertebra

thyr/o
thyroid gland

trache/o
trachea

-ostomy
new permanent opening (ie, colostomy)

-otomy
incision into (ie, tracheotomy)

gyne
woman

ile/o
ileum (small intestine)

irid/o
iris (eye)

jejun/o
jejunum (small intestine)

kerat/o
cornea of eye

lamina
thin, flat part of vertebra

laryng/o
larynx (voice box)

lingua
tongue

lobe
lobe, as of lung

metr/o
uterus

myring/o
eardrum

oophor/o
ovary

ophthalm/o
eye

orchi/o
testicle

orchid/o
testicle

pancreat/o
pancreas

pharyng/o
throat

phleb/o
vein

pod/o
foot

ren/o
kidney

sacr/o
sacrum

salping/o
fallopian tube

sigmoid/o
lower portion of colon

steth/o
chest

stomat/o
mouth

ten/o, tend/o, tendin/o
tendon

thorac/o
thorax (chest)

tympan/o
eardrum

ureter/o
ureter

urethr/o
urethra

vas/o
vessel

ven/o
vein

cranio
skull only

cephalo
head

cerebro
part of brain

encephalo
entire brain

nephro
entire kidney

reno
entire kidney

pyelo
pelvis of kidney

-ectomy
excision of

-oplasty
plastic surgery on

-opexy
surgical fixation

-orrhaphy
surgical repair of

-otripsy
crushing

-ocentesis
puncture (tapping)

-ectasis or ectasia
stretching (dilating)

-osis, iasis
condition of

-itis
inflammation of

-opathy
any disease of

-algia or dynia
pain

-cele
hernia, swelling

-orrhagia
excessive bleeding

The four signs of inflammation are
swelling, pain, heat, redness

a-, an-, ar- (ie, anemic)
without or not

ad- (ie, adduction)
near, toward

ab- (ie, abnormal)
away from

anti- (i.e. antibiotic)
against

ante- (i.e. anteflexion)
before, forward

contra- (i.e. contraindicated)
against or not

dis- (i.e. disease)
from

dys- (i.e. dysuria)
painful or difficult

hemi- (i.e. hemiplegia)
half (one side)

-plegia
paralysis

hyper- (i.e. hypertension)
too much, high

hypo- (i.e. hypodermic)
not enough, low or under

inter- (i.e. intercostal)
between

intra- (i.e. intramuscular)
within

-oscope
instrument for looking into

-oscopy
procedure using a scope

-otome
instrument for cutting thin section

-ograph
instrument (or machine) that records

-ography
diagnostic procedure

-ogram
recording or “picture” produced by an “-ography” procedure

-ometer
instrument that measures or counts

-ometry, -imetry
procedure using the measuring or counting instrument

bio- (i.e. bioethics)
life

brady- (i.e. bradycardia)
slow

tachy- (i.e. tachycardia)
fast

de- (i.e. dehydrate)
take away, remove

re- (i.e. rehudrate)
put back

dia- (i.e. diarrhea)
through (as in running through)

hemo- (i.e. hematemesis)
blood

hydro- (i.e. hydrate)
water

hyper- (i.e. hypertension)
high; too much

hypo- (i.e. hypotension)
low; not enough; under

lip- (i.e. lipoma)
fat

poly- (i.e. polyuria)
many, much

pre- (i.e. prenatal)
before

pro- (i.e. prognosis)
preceding, coming

post- (i.e. postpartum)
following, after

-olysis, -olytic, -olyzed
destruction, to separate out

-oma
tumor (new growth), neoplasm, space-occupying lesion

-oid
like, similar to

-plasia
growth (cell)

-trophy
development

-malacia
softening

-orrhea
flow or discharge

-pnea (pneumo-)
breathing, air, lungs

-paresis
weakness (less than paralysis)

bacteria
Bacteria are larger, easily grown in the lab, and can be seen with regular microscopes. Generally they can be treated successfully with antibiotics however, many bacteria are now becoming resistant to antibiotics.

viruses
Viruses are so small that they can only be seen with an electron microscope, cannot be grown on artificial media, and are not successfully treated by antibiotics.

chromo-
color

erythro-
red

leuko-
white

melano-
black

cyano-
blue

cirrh-
orange yellow

xanth/o-
yellow

polio
gray

anterior (ventral)
toward the front, or in front of

posterior (dorsal)
toward the back, or in back of

lateral
side

bilateral
both sides

medial
middle

oblique
at an angle

superior (supra)
above

inferior (sub) (infra)
below

cephalic
head (similar to superior)

caudal
“tail” or base of spine (similar to inferior)

proximal
nearest to center

distal
farthest from center

peripheral
outer edges

transverse (trans-)
horizontal body plane, divides body into top and bottom sections; across or through

sagittal
vertical body plane, through trunk of body; if exactly through middle , it is midsaggital, and divides the body into equal right and left sides.

coronal
vertical body plane, divides body into front and back sections (anterior and posterior) standing

upright
standing

decubitus
lying down

recumbent
lying down

unilateral
one side

flexion
bending

vertebral column
starting at the neck: cervical vertebrae (7), thoracic or dorsal (12), lumbar (5), sacral (5,fused), coccyx or tailbone (4)

axial
skull, thorax (ribs and sternum), vertebral column

appendicular
the appendages that hang from the axial skeleton; upper and lower extremities (includes shoulder and pelvic girdle)

aponeurosis
flattened tendon; resembles a membrane that attaches muscle to bones or tissue

ball and socket joint
hip and shoulder joints

bursa
small sacs that cushion joints between tendons and bones

fascia
connective tissue sheath; covers, supports, and separates muscles; holds muscle fibers

hinge joint
elbows, knees, fingers

interphalangeal joints
fingers and toes

intervertebral disks
cartilaginous material between vertebrae

lamina (ae)
flattened part of the vertebral arch ( thinnest part of vertebrae)

ligament
strong fibrous tissue that connects bone to bone

meniscus
lateral and medial knee cartilage

sutures
articulations in the cranial bones; immovable joints

synovial fluid
clear joint fluid that acts as a lubricant

temporomandibular joint TMJ
connecting point of lower jawbone and temporal bone

tendon
fibrous tissue attaching muscle to bone

theca
covering or sheath of a tendon

acetabulum
large socket for head of femur (hip)

foramen
holes in the bone for large vessels and nerves to pass through

fossa (ae)
depressions or hollows

grooves
shallow linear depressions in bone (or tooth)

malleolus
hammerlike protuberance (either side of ankle)

olecranon
a process on the ulnar bone (elbow)

prominences, processes, tuberosities
projections

sinuses
air spaces in cranium that lighten the skull and serve as voice resonating chambers