A medical word consists of some or all of the following elements:
The foundation of a medical term and contains its primary meaning.
Most word roots are derived from Greek or Latin language, thus two different roots may have the same meaning. As a general rule, greek roots are used to:
Build words that describe a disease, condition, treatment or diagnosis.
Latin roots are used to build words that:
Describe anatomical structure.
Word root for skin.
Word root for kidney.
Word root for mouth.
Inflammation of the skin
Pertaining to the skin
Tumor of the kidney
Pertains to the kidney
Inflammation of the mouth
Pertaining to the mouth
Immune, immunity, safe
A word element placed at the end of a word that changes the meaning of the word. This usually describes a pathology (disease or abnormality), symptom, surgical or diagnostic procedure, or part of speech.
Inflammation of the stomach
Enlargement of the stomach
Tumor of the stomach
Inflammation of the liver
Enlargement of the liver
Tumor of the liver
condition of not feeling
excessive, above normal
condition of excess heat
pertaining to within the muscle
near, besides, beyond
pertaining to (area) near the nose
condition of much urine
Three steps for defining medical words with example gastroenteritis
1.) suffix or last part of word (itis)
2.) first part of word (gastro)
3.) middle (enter)
Rule # 1
A word root links a suffix that begins with a vowel
Hepat (liver) + itis (inflammation) = hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
Rule # 2
A combining form (root + o) links a suffix that begins with a constant