GREEK AND LATIN ADJECTIVAL DERIVATIVES

The roots and combining forms in this appendix are derived from Greek or Latin adjectives. Adjectives will appear most often in compounds and will be joined to either nouns or verbs. Suffixes may he added to make them into nouns. In the table the part or root of the word the adjective modifies is italicized, and the meaning, if not clear, is given in parentheses.

Root or combining form Meaning Examples
ankylo- Bent or crooked Ankylo glossia (tongue-tie)
Ankyl osis (stiff or fixed joint)
auto- Self

Auto infection
Auto lysis
Auto pathy (disease)
Auto psy (view, postmortem examination)


brachy- Short Brachy gnathous (receding underjaw)
brady- Slow Brady cardia (slow heartbeat)
Brady pepsia (slow digestion)
brevi- Short

Brevi collis (short neck)
Brevi flexor (short flexor muscle)

cav- Hollow Cavity
Cavernous
Vena cava (vein)

cel-, coel- Hollow, cavity Cel iac (of the abdominal cavity)
Coel om (body cavity of embryo)
cryo- Cold

Cryo therapy (treatment using cold)
Cryo anesthesia (freezing body part)

crypto- Hidden Crypto rchidism (undescended testis)
Crypto mnesia (subconscious memory)
dextro- Right, right side Dextro manual (right handed)
Dextro cardia (heart on right side)
diplo- Double, twice Diplo coria (double pupil in eye)
Diplo pia (double vision)
dolicho- Long Dolicho derus (long neck)
Dolicho cephalic (long head)
dys- Difficult, bad,
disordered, painful

Dys arthria (speech)
Dys hidrosis (sweat)
Dys kinesia (motion)
Dys tocia (birth)
Dys phasia (speech)
Dys pepsia (digestion)




eso- Within, inward Eso phoria (crossed eye)
Eso deviation (a turning inward)
eu- Well, good Eu phoria (well-being)
Eu phagia , eupnea (breath)
Eu thyroid (normal thyroid)
Eu tocia (normal birth)


eury- Broad, wide

Eury cephalic (unusually broad head)
Eury somatic (thickset body)

glyc/o- Sugar, sweet Glyc emia (glucose in the blood)
Glyco geusia (sweet taste)
gravis Heavy Gravid a (pregnant woman)
Gravid ism (pregnancy)
haplo- Single, simple Haplo id (single chromosome set)
Haplo pathy (uncomplicated disease)
hetero-, heter- Other, different Hetero cellular (of different cells)
Hetero phypnosis (induced by another)
homo-, homeo- Same, alike Homeo morphous (similar shape)
Homo zygous (having identical genes)
hydro- Wet, water Hyd remia (excess water in blood)
Hydro adipsia (absence of thirst)
iso- Equal, alike Iso cellular (having similar cells)
Iso coria (equal-sized pupils)
latus, lat- Broad Lat itude
Lat issimus dorsi (muscle adducting humerus)
leio- Smooth Leio dermia (smooth, glossy skin)
Leio trichous (smooth hair)
lepto- Slender, small, thin Lepto dermic (thin skinned)
Lepto dactylous (slender fingered)
levo- Left, to the left Levo duction (eyes turn left)
Levo rotation (turning to the left)
longus, long- Long Long itude
Adductor longus (muscle of thigh)
macro- Large Macro cephaly (having large brain)
Macro biosis (long life)
magna- Large, great Magn itude
Adductor magnus (thigh muscle)
mal- Ill, bad Mal ady (illness)
Mal aise (general discomfort)
malac/o- Soft, softening Malac ia (softening)
Mala cotomy (incision of soft parts)
medi- Middle Med ian
Med ium
Gluteus medius (femur muscle)

mega-, meg/alo-, meg/aly- Large, oversized Mega lgia (severe pain)
Megalo mania (grandiose delusions)
Hepato megaly (enlarge liver)

meso- Middle, mid Meso carpal (wrist)
Meso derm (skin)
Meso thelium (a membrane lining of cavities)

micro- Small Micro glossia (tongue)
Micro blepharia (eyelids)
Micro organism
Micro phonia (voice)


minimus Smallest Gluteus minimus (smallest muscle of hip)
Adductor minimus (muscle of thigh)
mio- Less, decrease

Mio sis (contraction of pupil)
Mio pragia (decreased activity)

multi- Many, much

Multi para (to bear, woman who has borne more than one child)
Multi lobar (lobes)
Multi centric (centers)

necro- Death

Necro psy (autopsy)
Necro phobia (fear of death)

neo- New

Neo formation
Neo morphism (form)
Neo natal (first 4 weeks of life)
Neo pathy (disease)


oligo- Few, little Oligo menorrhea (scanty menses)
Oligo symptomatic (few symptoms)
opisth/o- Backward, behind, dorsal Opistho cheilia (recession of lips)
Opistho poreia (walking backward)
ortho- Straight, normal, correct Ortho dontics (straightening teeth)
Ortho grade (walking erect)
oxy- Sharp, quick Oxy esthesia (overly acute senses)
Oxy rhine (sharp-pointed nose)
pachy- Thick Pachy derma (abnormally thick skin)
Pachy onychia (overly thick nails)
paleo- Old, primitive Paleo genetic (originated in past)
Paleo logic (primitive reasoning)
platy- Flat, wide Platy glossal (wide flat tongue)
Platy cephaly (flattened skull)
pleo- More Pleo nexia (excessive greediness)
Pleo nosteosis (excess bone growth)
poikilo- Irregular, varied Poikilo derma (mottled skin)
Poikilo thermic (cold blooded)
poly- Many, much Poly hedral (many bases or faces)
Poly mastia (more than two breasts)
Poly melia (supernumerary limbs)
Poly myalgia (pain in many muscles)


pronus Face down Prone
Pron ation
pseudo- False, spurious Pseudo stratified (layered)
Pseudo cirrhosis (suggestive of cirrhosis of liver)
Pseudo hypertrophy

sclero- Hardness Sclero sis (hardening)
Arterio sclerosis (artery hardening)
scolio- Twisted, crooked Scolio sis (crooked spine)
Scolio kyphosis (curvature of spine)
sinistro- Left

Sinistro cular (left eyed)
Sinistro manual (left handed)

steno- Narrow Steno sed (narrowed, contracted)
Steno stomia (narrow oral cavity)
stereo- Solid,
three dimensions

Stereo scopic (solid appearance)
Stereo psis (three-dimensional vision)

supinus Face up Supine
Supin ation
Supin ator longus (muscle in arm)

tachy- Rapid, fast Tachy phagia (bolting one's food)
Tachy logia (rapid speech)
tele-, telo- Distant, end Tel algia (pain from another area)
Tele ncephalon (end brain)
thermo- Heat Thermo genic (producing heat)
Thermo labile (destruction by heat)
trachy- Rough Trachy phonia (voice)
Trachy chromatic (deeply staining)
xero- Dry Xero chilia (dry lips)
Xero stomia (dry mouth)

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