Greek Latin Derivatives: Prefix and Suffix Starter List

Many of these combining forms may be used as either prefixes or suffixes. Examples are presented to show current usage.

Prefixes Derived From: Meaning Example
a-, ab- Latin off, from, down, away abduct, avert
a-, an- Greek not, without, less abiotic, anaerobic
actin- G. aktis a ray, beam, spoke actinomycete
ad- Latin to, attached to, adsorption
aer- Greek air aerobic
amphi- Greek both, about, around amphibian
ana- Latin away, through, again analysis
andro- Greek man, male androgens
angio- Greek a vessel, closed container angiospermae
anthropo- Greek referring to man anthropology
ant-, anti- Greek against, away, opposite antibiosis
ante- Latin before anteroom
ap-, aph-, apo- Latin from, off, separate apogee
aqua- Latin water aquatic
arche-, archeo- Greek ancient, primitive archeology
arthri-, arthro- G. arthron joint, jointed arthritis
asco- G. askos bag, sack, bladder ascospore
aureo- L. aureus gold colored aureomycin
auto- G. autos self autoimmune
bi- Latin two, twice, double bipolar, binocular
bio-, bios- Greek related to life biology, biocidal
blasto- G. blastos an embryonic layer or cell blastomere
brachy- Greek short brachycephalic
brad-, brady- Greek slow, slowness bradycardia
bry-, bryo- G. bryon moss, mossy bryophyte
calic-, calix- Latin cuplike calyx
cani-, canis- Latin dog canine
cardia- G. kardia heart cardiac
carn- L. carnis flesh carnivore
carp- L. carpalis wrist, bones carpel
cata- Greek decomposition, degradation catabolism
cell- L. cella small room cellular
cephal- Latin head cephalic
chloro- G. chloros green, containing chloride chlorophyll
chroma-, chromo- Greek colored chromosome
chron-, chrono- G. chronos time chronometer
circum- Latin around, near, about circumnavigate
coel- G. koilos hollow cavity, belly coelom
col-, com-, con- Latin with, together combine, collide
contra- Latin against contradict
crypto- G. kryptos hidden cryptogamic
cyano- G. kyanos dark blue, blue-green cyanobacteria
cyst- G. kystis bladder cystitis
cyt-,cyte-,cyto- G. kytos cell, a hollow vessel cytology
de- Latin undoing, removal of, from dehydration
den-, dent- L. dens tooth dentition
dendro- Greek tree dendrochronology
derm-, derma- Greek skin, hide dermatitis
deut-, deutero- Greek second, secondary deuterium
di- Greek double, twice, two disaccharide
dia- Greek through, across diameter
diplo- Greek twofold, double diploid
dis- Latin apart, away dissolve
dorm- Latin to sleep dormant, dormitory
drom-, drome- Greek a running, racing dromendary
e-, ec- Latin out, out of efferent
eco- G. oikos house, environment ecology
ecto- G. ektos outside ectoderm
en-, endo- G. endon within, internal endoskeleton
entero- G. enteron intestine enterocolitis
entomo- G. entoma insect entomology
eo-, eos- Greek the dawn Eocene, Eohippus
epi- Greek upon, above, top epidermis
erythro- Greek red erythrocyte
eu- Greek proper, true, good eucaryotic
ex- Latin out, from excise
exo- Greek outer, external exoskeleton
extra- L. exter outside of, beyond extracellular
flagell- L. flagrum whip, whiplike flagellum
fuc-, fuco- G. phyktos seaweed, algae, lichen fucoxanthin
gamo- G. gamos sexual union gamogenesis
gastero-,gastro- G. gaster stomach, belly gastroenteritis
geno- L.gene origin, development genotype
ge-, geo- Greek earth geology
glu-, glyco- Greek sweet, sugar glucose, glycogen
gon-,goni-,gono- Greek reproductive, sexual gonorrhea
gymn-, gymno- G. gymnos naked, bare gymnosperm
gyn-,gyne-,gyno- Greek woman, female gynecology
halo- G. hals salt halophile
haplo- G. haploos single haploid
heme-, hemo- G. haimo blood hemotologist
hemi- Greek half hemisphere
hepta- Greek seven heptane
herb- L. herba pertaining to plants herbicide
hetero- Greek different, other, unlike heterozygous
hex-, hexa- Greek six hexagonal
hipp-, hippo- G. hippos horse hippodrome
histo- G. histos tissue histology
holo- G. holos whole, entire holoblastic
homeo, homo- Greek same, similar, like homogeneous
hyal-, hyalo- G. hyalos glassy, transparent hyaloid
hydr-, hydro- Greek pertaining to water hydrolysis
hyper- Greek above, more, over hyperactive
hypo- Greek below, less, under hypodermic
ichthy-,ichthyo- Greek referring to fish ichthyology
inter- Latin between intercellular
intra- Latin within, inside intracellular
intro- Latin inward, within introvert
iso- Greek equal, same isotonic
kine- Greek movement, moving kinetics
leuc-, leuk- Greek white leucocyte
lycan- G. lykos wolf lycanthropy
macro- Greek large, big, long macromolecule
man-, manu- Latin hand manual
mastig- G. mastigos whip mastigophora
meg-, mega- Greek great, large megabyte
melan-,melano- Greek black, dark melanin
mero- G. merus part, piece meroblast
mes-, meso- G. mesos middle, in between mesoderm
met-, meta- Greek later, following, changed in position or form metamorphosis
micro- G. mikros small microbiology
milli- Latin a thousandth part millimeter
mio- G. meion less, smaller Miocene
mito- G. mitos thread mitosis
mon-, mono- Greek one, single monocular
morph- Greek shape, form morphology
mor-, mort- Latin die, death, mortality
muc-, muco- Latin consisting of many units multicellular
mus- Latin mouse, as one running muscle
myco-, mykos- Greek fungus, mushroom mycology
myo- G. mys muscle myoglobin
myxo- Greek slime, mucus myxomycetes
nemato- Greek thread, threadlike nematode
neuro- Greek name nomenclature
ob- Latin against obtuse
octa- Greek eight octopus
olig-, oligo- Greek few, small, less oligarchy
omni- Latin all, everywhere omnipotent
oo- Greek pertaining to an egg oocyte
ophthalmo- Greek referring to the eye ophthalmologist
opisth-,opistho- Greek behind, backwards, back Opisthobranchia
orni-, ornitho- Greek bird ornithology
orth-, ortho- Greek straight orthodontist
osteo- Greek bone osteocyte
oto- Greek referring to the ear otology
ova-,ovi-,ovul- Latin egg ovary, oviduct
paleo- Greek old, ancient paleontology
para- Greek beside, near, beyond parasitism
path-, patho- Greek disease, suffer pathogenic
ped-, pedi- Latin foot pedicure
penna-, pinna- Latin feather, feathery pinnate
pent-, penta- Greek five pentagon
per- Latin through pervade, peruse
peri- Greek around, surrounding perimeter
pher- Greek bearing, carrying, support pheromone
phil- philo- Greek loving, attracted to philanthropy
phob- Greek fear, fearing phobic
photo- Greek pertaining to light photosynthesis
phyco- Greek seaweed, algae phycology
phylo- Greek tribe, race, related group phylogeny
phyto- Greek pertaining to plants phytohormone
plasm-, plasma- Greek formative substance plasmablasts
plati-, platy- Greek flat platypus
pleio- pleo- Greek more, many pleiomorphic
pod-,poda-,podi- Greek foot podiatrist
poly- Greek many polyhedron
post- Latin after postnatal
pre- Latin before prenatal
preter- Latin beyond preterhuman
prim- Latin first primary
pro- Greek before, on behalf of proboscis
pro- Latin forward progressive
proto- Greek first, primary protozoa
pseudo- Greek false pseudopod
psilo- Greek bare, mere psilopsida
pteri-, ptero- Greek fern, feather pteridophyte
quadr-, quadri- Latin four quadruped
radi- Latin ray, spoke of wheel radial
re- Latin back, again repeat
retro- Latin backward retroactive
rhiz-, rhizo- Greek pertaining to roots rhizoids
rhod-, rhodo- Greek a rose, red rhodopsin
rota- Latin wheel rotate
sapr-, sapro- Greek rotten, putrid, dead saprobe
sarc-, sarco- Greek flesh, fleshy sarcoma
schiz-, schizo- Greek split, splitting schizocoel
se- Latin apart secede
semi- Latin half semicircle
soma-, somato- Greek body somatic
sperma-,spermato- Greek seed spermatozoa
sporo- Greek spore sporophyte
staphylo- Greek bunch of grapes staphylococcus
stoma- Greek mouth stomate
strepto- Greek twisted, string of streptococcus
sub- Latin below, under, smaller subapical
supra-, super- Latin above, over supernova
sym-, syn- Greek together, with synthesis
taxi-, taxo- Greek to make order, arrangement taxonomy
tel-,tele-,telo- Greek distant, end telophase
terra-, terre- Latin land, earth terrestrial
tetra- Greek four tetrapod
therm-, thermo- Greek heat thermometer
thigmo- Greek touch thigmotaxis
trans- Latin across, through, over transfer
tri- Latin three triangle
tricho- Greek hair trichocyst
triplo- Latin triple triploid
troche-, trocho- Greek wheel, hoop trochophore
tropho- Greek nourishment trophoblast
ultra- Latin beyond, exceedingly ultraconservative
uni- Latin consisting of one unicellular
vice- Latin in place of vice-president
vid-, vis- Latin see vision
xen-, xeno- Greek dry, desert xerophyte
zoo- Greek animal, life zoology
zyg-, zygo- Greek to join together zygote
Suffixes Derived From: Meaning Example
-biosis Greek mode of living, way of life symbiosis
-blast Greek formative, embryonic mesoblast
-chaeta-, -chete Greek a bristle Polychaeta
-chrome Greek color mercurochrome
-cidal, -cide Latin killer, a killing insecticide
-cocci, -coccus Greek round, seed, kernel Streptococcus
-cyst Greek pouch, sac trichocyst
-dactyl Greek finger pentadactyl
-derm, -dermis Greek skin, layer epidermis
-elle, -ule, -la, -le, -let, -ole Latin small, diminutive endings globule, piglet
-emia Greek blood disease anemia
-fer Latin bearer, producer, carry conifer, transfer
-gamous, -gamy Greek marriage, sexual fusion polygamy
-gen, -geny Greek origin, production progeny, hydrogen
-genesis Latin origin, development of embryogenesis
-gony Latin something produced cosmogeny
-graph Greek drawing, writing chromatograph
-hedral, -hedron Greek side polyhedral
-hydrate Greek compound formed by union of water with other substance carbohydrate
-ism Greek act, practice or result of terrorism
-ite Latin a division or part somite
-itis Greek inflammation or infection appendicitis
-jugal, -jugate Latin to yoke, join together conjugate
-logy G. logos science or study of biology
-lysis, -lytic Greek loosening, separation, splitting into smaller units photolysis
-mer, -merous G. meros a part, piece polymer
-meter G. metron a measurement diameter
-morph Greek form endomorph
-mycin Greek derived from a fungus aureomycin
-nomy Greek systematized knowledge of astronomy
-oma Greek tumorous carcinoma
-osis, -otic Greek abnormal condition, disease neurosis
-phage Greek eater bacteriophage
-phase Greek a stage or condition metaphase
-phil, -phile Greek fear, fearing hydrophobia
-phor, -phore Greek bearing, carrying, supporting sporangiophore
-phyll Greek leaf chorophyll
-phyta, -phyte Greek plant epiphyte
-plasm Greek formative substance cytoplasm
-plast Greek organized particle, granule choroplast
-pod, -poda Greek foot arthropod
-some Greek body chromosome
-stasis Greek a stationary position homeostasis
-stat, -static Greek stationary, still hemostat
-stomy Greek opening into colostomy
-therm Greek heat homeotherm
-thes, -thesis Greek arrangement, in order hypothesis
-tom, -tomy Greek dividing, surgery lobotomy
-trope, -tropic Greek turning phototropic
-vor, -vore L. vorare feeding carnivore
-zoa,-zoan,-zoic Greek animal, life protozoa