General

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Medical TermDescription
-acpertaining to
-agoguesimulator, agent causing change
-algiapain
-anpertaining to
-arpertaining to
-clastbreak
-comaprofound unconsciousness
-cytecell
-cytosiscondition of cells, increase in number of cells
-dyniapain
-ectomyremoval, excision
-edemaswelling
-genproducing, origin
-genicproducing, origin
-gramrecording, metric unit of weight
-graphinstrument that records
-iacondition, state, disease
-iasiscondition, state
-icpertaining to
-iorpertaining to
-ismcondition, process
-istperson who specializes
-itisinflammation
-logystudy of
-malaciasoftening
-metermeasurement, instrument to measure
-metryto measure
-oidresembling
-opsyprocess of viewing
-osisabnormal condition
-ouspertaining to
-pathydisease
-piesispressure
-plakiapatches
-plastysurgical repair
-poiesisproduction, formation
-ptosisdrooping, prolapse
-rrheadischarge, flow
-sclerosisabnormal hardening
-scopeinstrument used to view
-scopyprocess of viewing
-siscondition
-spadiato tear, cut
-spasmsudden, involuntary muscle contraction
-stalsiscontraction
-stasismaintenance of level, prevent increase
-stomynew opening
-therapytreatment
-tionprocess of
-tomeinstrument to cut
-tomycutting, incision
-trophynourishment, development
-umstructure, tissue
a-no, not, without, away from
abdomenThe part of the body cavity below the thorax.
abscessAccumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection.
absorptionThe processes by which substances, tissue, cells, etc. take up or take in other substances or energy.
abstractA summary of the facts, ideas and opinions presented in articles, studies, literature or presentations.
acid/oacid, sour, bitter
acu-needle
acutesevere; sudden in onset; lasting a short time
adip/ofat
aer-air
aggressionForceful verbal or physical behavior, or an overt attitude of hostility.
agit/orapidity, restlessness
albin/owhite, deficient pigmentation
alcoholismA primary, chronic disease creating a physical dependence on alcohol. Genetic and environmental factors influence its development.
allo-other
ambul/owalking
ambulanceA vehicle for transporting patients for treatment.
ambulatoryAble to walk.
amphi-both sides
ampho-both sides, double
anatomyThe study of the structure of organisms.
andro-male
anomal/oirregular
aphth/oulcer
appendectomySurgical removal of the appendix.
aque/owater
arch-beginning, origin, first
aspirinAn analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic agent. It also reduces the risk of vascular thrombosis.
auto-self, same
axill/oarmpit
bacteri-bacteria
bandagesMaterial used for wrapping or binding any part of the body. Used to secure wound dressing or immobilize a limb.
bar/opressure, weight
bas/obase, bottom
basi-base, foundation
bi-double, twice, two
bi/olife
blast-bud, germ
brachy-short
capit/ohead
cauter/iburn
cellul/ocell
centi-hundred
chartsA patient record including data in tables and graphs.
chem-chemistry
chem/ochemical
chestThe part of the body between the neck and the abdomen. Thorax.
chrom/ocolor
chronicProlonged. Long-term.
chym/ojuice, to pour
claustr/oclosed space
coldA contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Transmitted by coughing and sneezing.
colp-vagina
comatosePertaining to a state of coma.
compressA pad of soft material used to apply cold, heat, medication or to control bleeding.
congestionPresence of abnormal amounts of fluids in an organ or vessel.
consensualGiving permission or agreement.
consent formsDocuments describing a medical treatment or research project, including proposed procedures, risks, and alternatives, that are to be signed by an individual, or the individual's proxy, to indicate his/her understanding of the document and a willingness to undergo the treatment or to participate in the research.
contagiousA transmissible or communicable disease or a person with such a disease.
copr-feces
corpor/obody
crur/oleg
cry/overy cold
crypt/ohidden
cyan/oblue
cycl/orecurring, round
cyt/ocell
de-lack of, without, less, down
deci-one tenth
dem/opeople, population
di-two, twice, double
differential diagnosisDistinguishing between two or more conditions having similar symptoms by systematic clinical comparison.
dipl/odouble, two-sided
diseaseA disorder of an organ or body function. Characterized by signs and symptoms.
disinfectantSubstance that kills or inhibits harmful microorganisms.
drainageThe removal of fluids or discharges from the body, such as from a wound, sore, or cavity.
dys-bad, painful, abnormal
echo-reflected sound
eco-environment
edemaSwelling due to excess fluid in the body's tissues.
electro/oelectricity
eosin/orose-colored
epidemicAn rapid, widespread outbreak of a contagious disease.
epidemiologyField of medicine concerned with the determination of causes, incidence, and characteristic behavior of disease outbreaks affecting human populations.
eponymThe name of a disease, procedure or body structure that is based upon the name of the discoverer.
equi-equal
erg-work
eu-normal, good
excisionRemoval of tissue using a scalpel.
fatA substance that stores energy in the body and serves as an insulating material. One of the three primary constituents of food.
fiss-split
fissureA slit, cleft or deep furrow; a small tear.
fistulaAn abnormal connection between two body parts.
fluor/ofluorine, fluoride
fract-break
gen/oto become, being born, producing
ger/oold age
giga-billion
granul/osmall grain
hemi-half
hiat/ogap, opening, pause
hist/otissue
holo-entire, complete
home/osame, not changed
hydr/owater, fluid
hyper-excessive, above
hypo-deficient, under
iatr/otreatment, medicine
in-in, not or fiber
incisionA cut made by a medical professional.
indicationThe basis, evidence or rationale for using a particular treatment or diagnostic test.
infantA child between 1 and 23 months of age.
infectionThe invasion of the body by disease causing agents and the body's reaction.
inflammationThe response of body tissues to injury, irritation or infection. Usually manifested by the signs of pain, heat, redness and swelling.
interstitialSmall space(s) between biological structures.
intra-within
intro-within
is/oequal
jointsThe points of connection between the ends of certain bones. Also known as articulations
jug-yoke
kal/ipotassium
kary/onucleus
kilo-one thousand
lacerationA wound, specifically a deep tear or cut of the flesh.
lesionAny abnormal changes or damage to body tissues.
lob/olobe
loc-place
lumin/olumen (channel within a tube)
macro-large
mal-bad, deficient
malaiseA general feeling of illness or discomfort or feeling unhealthy.
meat/oa natural opening
medicareFederal program that provides health insurance benefits to persons over the age of 65 and others eligible for Social Security benefits. It consists of hospital insurance (Part A) and supplementary medical insurance (Part B).
meta-beyond, change
micro-small
mon/osingle, one
morph/oshape, form
muc/omucus
mycosisA fungal inflection.
nano-one-billionth, dwarfism
natr/osodium
necr-death, corpse
neo-new
neutr/oneutral
noct/inight
nod/oknot
non-not
norm-normal
nucle/onucleus
nyct/onight, darkness
obstetricianA medical doctor specialized in the management of pregnancy, labor and birth
olig/ofew, scanty
orth/ostraight
papill/onipple, optic disc
para-similar, beside
path/odisease
pathologicalPertaining to or caused by disease.
pathologyA medical specialty concerned with the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences.
ped/ochild, foot
pediatricsA medical specialty concerned with maintaining health and providing medical care to children from birth to adolescence.
pedophiliaAn adult abnormal attraction to children for sexual purposes.
penta-five
phalangesFingers or toes
phil/oattraction
phor/oto carry
plic/ofold
poly-many
por/opassage, opening, duct
pro-before, in front of
prognosisA prediction of a outcome of a disease.
proto-first
pseudo-false
pyr/ofire, fever
pyrex/ofever
quadr-four
quadri-four
radi/ox-rays, radius
re-again, back
rhabd-rod
rot-wheel, turn
sect-dissect, cut
semi-half
sept/oseptum, seven
signObjective evidence of a disease.
somat/obody
steat/ofat
sterc-feces
stere/othree dimensional
stethoscopeInstrument for listening to body sounds (auscultation).
symptomSubjective evidence of disease. For example, a patient's complaints.
syn-together
teg-cover
temperatureThe sensible intensity of heat of any substance.
tetra-four
therm/oheat, temperature
tissueA group of differentiated cells that perform a specific function. There are four basic tissues in the body: epithelium, connective (including bone, blood and cartilage), muscle and nerve.
tom/osection, slice
top/oplace
traumaPhysical or emotional injuries that are severe and of sudden onset.
triageThe process of classifying patients into groups based upon need and likely benefit of treatment
troph/onourishment, development
ultra-beyond
uni-one
vir/ovirus
viscer/obody organs
xen/oforeign
zo/oanimal life

Authors and Reviewers

Authored by Dr. Barbara A. Erickson
Medically reviewed by Dr. Jonathan Keroes, MD
Last Update: 12/18/2022

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