ORIGIN OF MEDICAL TERMS Hippocrates was a Greek physician and is known as the “father of medicine.” 75% of medical terms are based on either Greek or Latin words.
Basic Elements of a Medical Word 1. Word Root 2. Combining Form 3. Suffix 4. Prefix These four parts of a word are known as ELEMENTS.
Word Root Main part or foundation of a word, and basic meaning of a word. All words have at least one word root. A word root may be used alone or combined with other elements to form a complete word. ie: SPEAK (word root) + ER (suffix) = SPEAKER (complete word)
The word root usually refers to a body part. Some root words are derived from the Latin or Greek language.
Word Root Examples “dent” means tooth “dermat” means skin “cardi” means heart “gastr” means stomach “pancreat” means pancreas
cardi - root for heart hepat- root for liver neur - root for nerve nephr - root for kidney cyt- root for cell
Combining Forms Correct pronunciation of medical words is important. In order to make the pronunciation of word roots easier, sometimes it is necessary to insert a vowel after the root. The combination of a word root and a vowel is known as a COMBINING FORM.
Basic Rules for the Combining Vowel The combining vowel is not used when the suffix begins with a vowel. (neuritis) The combining vowel is used when the suffix begins with a consonant. (neuroplasty)
Combining forms consist of a combining vowel. The combining vowel is usually an “o”, but others may be used. ie: gastr / o pronounced GASTRO. Word root Combining vowel
When a word has more than one root, a combining vowel is used to link the root to each other. ie: osteoarthritis oste/ o / arthr/ itis Word root Combining vowel Word root suffix Slashes separate elements
Word-Building System By understanding the meanings of word roots, one can determine the meaning of complex medical terms by putting together the smaller parts.
Leukocytopenia Word Roots: Leuk / (white) cyt / (cell) Combining Vowel / o / Suffix: / penia (decrease)
Suffixes A suffix is added to the END of a word root or combining form to modify its meaning. By adding a suffix to the end of a word root, we create a noun or adjective with a different meaning. Often indicates the procedure, condition, disorder, or disease.
A combining vowel is used between a word root and a suffix that begins with a consonant (not a vowel). This is to make pronunciation easier. Word root: scler / (hardening) Suffix: / derma (skin) Term: Scler / o / derma (hardening of the skin) Combining vowel
Meanings of certain suffixes -al pertaining to dent/al (pertaining to teeth) -er one who speak/er (one who speaks) -able capable of being playable (capable of being played)
-oma (tumor) hematoma (blood tumor) NOTE: The element that comes before a suffix can either be a word root or combining form.
The suffixes -scope (instrument to view) -rrhexis (rupture) -rrhea (flow or discharge) all begin with a consonant, therefore a combining vowel must be used between the word root and the suffix.
The suffixes -algia (pain) -edema (swelling) -uria (urine, urination) These suffixes begin with a vowel, therefore a combining vowel is NOT used between the word root and the suffix.
-itis (inflammation) -ology (the study of) - ectomy (surgical removal) -plast (surgical repair)
REVIEW A combining vowel IS used to link one root to another root, and before a suffix that begins with a consonant. A combining vowel IS NOT used before a suffix that begins with a vowel.
Prefixes A prefix is a syllable or syllables placed BEFORE a word or word root to alter its meaning or create a new word. Often indicates location, time, or number Hyper- (excessive) Pre- (before) Post- (after) Homo- (same) Hypo- (under) peri- (around) hemi – (half) micro – (large) neo- (new)
WordDefinition Aboralaway from the mouth Adductionmovement of a limb toward a median line Adoralnear or directed toward the mouth (or) Alloantigenoccurs in some but not others of same species Allopathysecond disease, condition that is incompatible with first Antebrachiumforearm Antepartumbefore childbirth Antitoxicneutralizing the action of a poison Apophysisan outgrowth or projection, especially from a bone Contraceptionprevention of conception or pregnancy Dextrogastriadisplacement of the stomach to the right Diapedesisthe passage of blood through the walls of blood vessels Dissectto cut apart or separate the tissue of a body for study Dorsocephaladtoward the back of the head Ecchondromaoutgrowth from cartilage, mass protruding from bone Encephalopathyany disease of the brain Endoderminnermost of the primary layers of the embryo Epicraniumthe muscle, aponeurosis, and skin covering the cranium
Excementosisoutgrowth of root surface of a tooth Heterocellularoccurs in some but not others of the same species Heterotypicdifferent or unusual type Homeostasisstate of equilibrium in the body Homomorphictwo or more structures of similar size Infusionsteeping a substance in water Inhaleto draw in breath Laterotorsiontwisting to one side Levorotationturning or twisting to the left Opisthotonosa spasm in which the spine and extremities are bent Perinataltime period before, during or after the time of birth Periodontalaround a mouth Peroralthrough the mouth Postanaestheticafter anaesthetic Postnasalposterior of the nasal cavity Precapillarypreceding a capillary Predentinorganic fiber of dentin before its calcification Procephalicrelationing to the anterior part of the head Prochondraldevelopmental stage prior to formation of cartilage Recuperateto recover, to regain health and strength Rehydrationreturn of water to a system after its loss Retrogressionprevious, less complex conditions Schizonychiasplitting of the nails Schizophreniapersonality disorder, withdrawal from outside world Transfusiontransfer of blood
WordsDefinition ankylosisimmobility of a joint due to a disease brachygnathiaabnormal shortness of the lower jaw bradypneaabnormal slowness of breathing chloromagreenish-yellow tumour arising from myeloid tissue cirrhosishardening of an organ, especially the liver cyanopsiadefect of vision in which objects appear tinged with blue erythrocytered blood cell glaucomagroup of eye diseases kyphoscoliosisbackward and lateral curvature of the spinal column leukomyelitisinflammation of the white substance of the spinal chord melanindark pigment of the skin, hair, choroid coat of the eyes and various tumours. orthodontista dentist who specialists in the branch of dentistry concerned with irregularities of teeth and malocclusion stenothoraxabnormal narrowness of the chest tachycardiaabnormally rapid heart rate
Colours Grey glauc(o) (Glaucoma) Red erythr(o) Erythrocyte Black melan(o) melanin White leuc(o), leuk(o) leukomyelitis Blue cyan(o) cyanopsia Yellow cirrh(o) cirrhosis Green chlor(o) chloroma
WordDefinition acardiacongential absence of the heart ambilateralpertaining to or affecting both sides amphibolichaving both an anabolic and catabolic function. anisotropichaving unlike properties in different directions diplopiaperception of two images of a singie object hypodermicapplied below the skin hyperthermiavery high body temperature macrocephalyexcessive size of the head megakaryocytethe giant cell of bone marrow containing a greatly lobulated nucleus, from which mature blood platelets orginate multi-infectionmany infections oligotrophyinsufficient nutrition inertlacking the power to move isoenergeticexhibiting equal energy pananxietya diffuse, all pervading anxiety polyplegiaparalysis of several muscles primigravidaa woman pregnant for the first time protoneuronthe first neuron in a peripheral reflex arc
Hypoinsulinemia Hypo / insulin / emia PrefixWord rootsuffix LOW INSULIN BLOOD Notice that there is no combining vowel in this word because the prefix ends with a vowel and the suffix begins with a vowel.
Plurality To make a medical word plural (more than one), first look at the suffix. Then, choose the rule that changes the singular form to the plural form.
These suffixes indicate whether the noun is singular or plural Singular Plural Example SingularPlural aaepatella patellae ax acesthorax throraces eninalumenlumina ix, exices index indices sisses diagnosis diagnoses on aganglion ganglia uma ovumova usi digitusdigiti yies deformitydeformities mamata carcinomacarcinomata
Cardiology Cardi - root means heart. -ology - suffix means the study of. Cardiology : the study of the heart.
Nephritis Nephr - root words means kidney -itis suffix means inflammation Nephritis: inflammation of the kidney
Break down and define the following medical terms pericarditis leukocyte hepatitis neuroplasty
pericarditis Peri- Means around -cardi- Means heart Peri- Means inflammation pericarditis
leukocyte leuko- prefix means white cyte - root word means cell leukocyte : white cell
hepatitis hepat - root word means liver -itis - suffix means inflammation hepatitis: inflammation of the liver
neuroplasty neuro - root word means nerve or nerves -plasty - suffix means surgical repair Neuroplasty: surgical repair of the nerve
WordDefintion amylolysisdigestion of starch glucogenesisproduction of glucose hydrocephalu s excess of fluid inside the skull kalemiapresence of potassium in the blood lactosurialactose in the urine lipomabenign tumour containing fatty tissue lithotriteinstrument for crushing a stone in the urinary bladder natriuresisabnormal amounts of sodium in the urine stearatea type of fat
Even you has gone through all the studies of medical words forming tricks, you can still get confuse once you get into hospital or conference!
Shot You might hear someone say “”Has she had her shots? “ Or “he’s going to need a tetanus shot.”
This does not mean that someone will get shot by a gun and badly hurt In the hospital, a shot is medicine that is given through a tiny needle to make you fell better.
Dressing You might hear someone say, “He needs a dressing change.” Or “she needs a new dressing.”
This does not mean to change clothes. In the hospital, a dressing is a bandage and to change dressings means to put a new bandage on!
DYE You might hear some say, “The doctor will inject you with some dye.” Or “the nurse will put dye into you body.”
This does not mean the doctors or nurses are going to give you something to make you die. In the hospital, dye ( also called contrast) is given to you to drink or is injected through I.V. so that different parts of your body show up more clearly in pictures that are taken. That way, doctors have a better idea of how to make that part of your body work the way that it should be.