ROOTS AND COMBINING FORMS IN INTERNAL ANATOMY

The roots and combining forms given in this appendix pertain only to internal anatomy. Some terms are complete Latin or Greek words, and this is noted in the definition. Terms are arranged alphabetically, and the system of the body is indicated where applicable.

Word or Combining Form Meaning Body System*
adeno- Gland E
adreno- Adrenal gland E
angio-, angi- Vessel, usually a blood vessel CVL
arterio- Artery CVL
arteriolo- Arteriole CVL
arthro- Joint S
articulus (pl. articuli) Latin for joint S
atrio- Atrium, upper chamber of the heart CVL
auriculo- Ear-shaped appendage of either atrium of the heart;
the pinna or flap of the ear
CVL/SS
balano- Glans penis GU
bronchio-, broncho- Bronchus R
cardio- Heart CVL
cerebello- Cerebellum, a part of the brain N
cerebro- Cerebrum, a part of the brain N
cholangio- Bile duct or bile duct capillaries GI
chole-, chol-, cholo- Bile GI
cholecyst, cholecysto- Greek for gallbladder
choledocho- Common bile duct GI
chondro-, chondr-,
hrondri-, chondrio
Cartilage S
chordo- Cord; may be a vocal cord or the spermatic cord SS/GU
cleido-, cleid- Collar bone or clavicle S
colpo- Vagina GU
condyle Latin for a rounded projection (knuckle) on a bone S
cor Heart
(Cor in coronary vessel does not derive from cor meaning heart, but rather from corona, meaning crown)
CVL
cornu Latin for horn or hornlike projection
corpus Latin for body or main part of any organ,
or a mass of specialized tissue
costo- Rib S
cysto- Bladder or sac, most often used in reference to the urinary bladder, but also in connection with the gallbladder GU, GI
-cyte Suffix denoting a cell; the root to which it is attached designates
the type of cell, such as erythrocyte (red cell)
CVL
cyto- Cell
dacryo- Tear SS
duodeno- Duodenum, a section of the intestinal tract about 12 inches long (duodenum in Latin means 12 inches) GI
encephalo- Brain, or sometimes the head N
entero- Intestine GI
episio- Vulva GU
fibro- Fiber M
gastro-, gastr-, gaster- Stomach GI
glio- Glue or gluey substance, or more specifically the neuroglia,
the supporting substance of the nervous system
N
hepato-, hepat-, hepatico- Liver GI
histo- Tissue
hystero- Womb or uterus
(Term is also used in pertaining to hysteria, a nervous reaction)
GU
ileo- Ileum, a part of the intestinal tract GI
ilio- Ilium, or flank S
jejuno- Jejunum, a section of the intestinal tract GI
kerato- Cornea, or horny tissue SS or I
laryngo- Larynx or voice box R
lieno- Spleen CVL
lumen Latin for light; cavity or channel within a vessel or tubular organ
lympho- Lymph; used to refer to lymphatic vessel or to lymphocytes CVL
meningo- Meninges, coverings of the brain and spinal cord N
metra-, metro- Uterus GU
myelo- Bone marrow or spinal cord S or N
myo-, my- Combining form for muscle M
myringo- Eardrum SS
nephro- Kidney GU
neuro- Nerve N
nodus Latin for knot or node
oophoro- Ovary GU
orchio-, orchi-, orchido- Testicle or testis GU
os Latin for bone; also a term for mouth or any orifice of the body

oscheo- Scrotum
osteo- Bone S
palato- Palate or roof of mouth GI
phalanx (pl. phalanges) Greek for a line or array of soldiers;
used in connection with fingers or toes because they somewhat resemble a line of soldiers or a battle formation
S
pharyngo- Relating to the pharynx R, GI
phleb-, phlebo- Vein CVL
phren- Greek for diaphragm and the mind;
the sense in which it is used will govern the meaning of the word or its intent
M or N
pleuro- Pleura, side, or rib R
pneumo-, pneumato,
pneumono-
Air, gas, or respiration and lungs R
proct-, procto- Anus or rectum GI
pulmo- Lung R
pyel-, pyelo- Pelvis of the kidney GU
rachi-, rachio- Spine S
recto- Rectum
ren Latin for kidney GU
sacro- Sacrum
(The Latin sacrum means sacred; it has been postulated that the sacrum derived its name from the fact that it was offered in ancient sacrifices)
S
salpingo- Fallopian tube or eustachian tube GU, SS
sarco- Flesh or fleshy
splanchno- Viscera or organs of any one of the great cavities of the body
spleno- Spleen
spondylo- Spinal column or a vertebra S
sterno- Sternum
tendo-, teno-, tenonto- Tendon S
thymo- Thymus gland E
thyro- Thyroid gland E
tracheo- Trachea R
uretero- Ureter,
the vessel that conveys urine from the kidney to the bladder
GU
urethro- Urethra,
a tube discharging urine from the bladder
GU
vas (pl. vasa), vaso- Latin for vessel
(Vas may also be used as vas deferens, part of the genital organ in the male)
CVL/GU
vena (pl. venae), veno- Latin for vein CVL
ventri-, ventro- Front (anterior aspect) of body
vesico- Bladder; also pertains to a blister GU, I
viscero- (pl. viscera) Relates to organs in the body


*
S = skeletal system
M = muscular system
I = integumentary system
CVL = cardiovascular and lymphatic systems
R = respiratory system
GI = gastrointestinal system
GU = genitourinary system
E = endocrine system
N = nervous system
SS = special senses

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