Medical Terminology-Chapter 1

Word Root
the foundation of a medical term and contains its primary meaning (most word roots are derived from Greek or Latin language)
skin
Word Root: dermat
Dermatitis: inflammation of the skin (a term that identifies a skin disease)
Word Root: cutane
Cutaneous: pertaining to the skin (a term that identifies an anatomical structure)
kidney
Word Root: nephr
Nephroma: tumor of the kidney (a term that describes a kidney disease)
Word Root: ren
Renal: pertains to the kidney (a term that identifies an anatomical stucture)
mouth
Word Root: stomat
Stomatitis: inflammation of the mouth (A term that describes an inflammation condition of the mouth)
Word Root: oris
Oral: pertaining to the mouth (a term that identifies an anatomical stucture)
Combining Form
created when a word root is combined with a vowel
Combining Vowel
usually is an “O,” but sometimes an “i” (enables two or more word elements to be connected)
Word Root: erythr/ + Vowel: O
Combining Form: erythro
Meaning: red
Word Root: gastr/ + Vowel: O
Combining Form: gastro
Meaning: stomach
Word Root: hepat/ + Vowel: O
Combining Form: hepato
Meaning: liver
Word Root: immun/ + Vowel: O
Combining Form: immuno
Meaning: immune, immunity, safe
Word Root: nephr/ + Vowel: O
Combining Form: nephro
Meaning: kidney
Word Root: oste/ + Vowel: O
Combining Form: osteo
Meaning: bone
Suffix
a word element at the end of a word that changes the meaning of the word (a suffix usually describes a pathology (disease or abnormality), symptom, surgical or diagnostic procedure, or part of speech)
Combining Form: gastro (stomach) + Suffix: -itis (inflammation)
Medical Word: gastritis
Meaning: inflammation of the stomach
Combining Form: gastro (stomach) + Suffix: -megaly (enlargement)
Medical Word: gastromegaly
Meaning: enlargement of the stomach
Combining Form: gastro (stomach) + Suffix: -oma (tumor)
Medical Word: gastroma
Meaning: tumor of the stomach
Combining Form: hepato (liver) + Suffix:
-itis (inflammation)
Medical Word: hepatitis
Meaning: inflammation of the liver
Combining Form: hepato (liver) + Suffix:
-megaly (enlargement)
Medical Word: hepatomegaly
Meaning: enlargement of the liver
Combining Form: hepato (liver) + Suffix:
-oma (tumor)
Medical Word: hepatoma
Meaning: tumor of the liver
Prefix
a word element attached to the beginning of the word or word root (not all medical terms have a prefix; prefix usually indicates a number, time, position, direction, or negation)
Prefix: an- (without, not) + Word Root: esthes (feeling) + Suffix: -ia (condition)
Medical Word: anesthesia
Meaning: condition of not feeling
Prefix: hyper- (excessive, above normal) + Word Root: therm (heat) + Suffix: -ia (condition)
Medical Word: hyperthermia
Meaning: Condition of excessive heat
Prefix: intra- (in, within) + Word Root: muscul (muscle) + Suffix: -ar (pertaining to)
Medical Word: intramuscular
Meaning: pertaining to within the muscle
Prefix: para- (near, beside; beyond) + Word Root: nas (nose) + Suffix: -al (pertaining to)
Medical Word: paranasal
Meaning: pertaining to (area) near the nose
Prefix: poly- (many, much) + Word Root: ur (urine) + -ia (condition)
Medical Word: polyuria
Meaning: condition of much urine
Prefix: pre- (before) + Word Root: nat (birth) Suffix: -al (pertaining to)
Medical Word: prenatal
Meaning: pertaining to (the period) before birth
Three steps to defining medical words
Step 1: define the suffix, or last part of the word
Step 2: define the first part of the word (which may be a word root, combining form, or prefix)
Step 3: define the middle parts of the word
Three rules to building medical words
Rule #1: A word root links a suffix that begins with a vowel
Rule #2: A combining form (root + “O”) links a suffix that begins with a consonant
Rule #3: A combining form links one root to another root to form a compound root. This holds true even if the second root begins with a vowel, as in osteoarthritis
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