Word Parts and Structural Terms

Combining Forms


blephar/o: eyelid

conjunctiv/o: conjunctiva

cor/o: pupil

core/o: pupil

corne/o: cornea

dacry/o: tear, tear duct

dipl/o: two, double

ir/o: iris

irid/o: iris

is/o: equal

kerat/o: cornea

lacrim/o: tear, tear duct

leuk/o: white

myc/o: fungus

ocul/o: eye

ophthalm/o: eye

opt/o: vision

phac/o, phak/o: lens

phot/o: light

presby/o: old age

pupill/o: pupil

retin/o: retina

scler/o: sclera

ton/o: pressure, tension

xer/o: dry


audi/o: hearing

aur/o, aur/i: ear

cochle/o: cochlea

labyrinth/o: labyrinth, inner ear

mastoid/o: mastoid bone

myring/o: tympanic membrane, eardrum

ot/o: ear

staped/o: stapes, middle ear

tympan/o: can mean tympanic membrane, but usually means middle ear

vestibul/o: vestibular system—responsible for the sense of balance


a-, an-: absence of, without, no, not; negates meaning

bi-, bin-: two

endo-: within, in

pseudo-: false


-al: pertaining to (adjective)

-algia: pain (noun)

-ar: pertaining to (adjective)

-ary: pertaining to (adjective)

-ectomy: excision or surgical removal (noun)

-eal: pertaining to (adjective)

-gram: record, radiographic image (noun)

-graphy: process of recording (noun)

-ia: condition of, diseased or abnormal state (noun)

-ic: pertaining to (adjective)

-itis: inflammation (noun)

-logist: specialist or physician who studies and treats (noun)

-logy: study of (noun)

-malacia: softening (noun)

-meter: instrument used to measure (noun)

-metry: process of measuring (noun)

-oma: tumor, swelling (noun)

-opia: vision, as it relates to a condition (noun)

-osis: abnormal condition (noun)

-ptosis: prolapse, drooping, sagging (noun)

-pathy: disease (noun)

-pexy: surgical fixation (noun)

-phobia: abnormal fear, aversion to specific things, intense fear or dislike (noun)

-plasty: surgical repair (noun)

-plegia: paralysis (noun)

-rrhea: flow, discharge (noun)

-sclerosis: hardening (noun)

-scope: instrument used to view (noun)

-scopy: process of viewing (noun)

-stenosis: abnormal narrowing (noun)

-stomy: creation of artificial opening (noun)

-tomy: incision, cut into (noun)

Structural/Functional Terms Built from Word Parts

Eye Terms

binocular: pertaining to both eyes

corneal: pertaining to the cornea

emmetropia: normal refractive condition of the eye

intraocular: pertaining to within the eye

lacrimal: pertaining to the tear duct

nasolacrimal: pertaining to the nose and tear ducts

ocular: pertaining to the eye

ophthalmic: pertaining to the eye

optical: pertaining to the sense of vision

pupillary: pertaining to the pupil

retinal: pertaining to the retina

visual acuity: sharpness of vision

Ear Terms

aural: pertaining to the ear

auricular: pertaining to the ear

cochlear: pertaining to the cochlea

vestibular: pertaining to the vestibule or the sense of balance

vestibulocochlear: pertaining to the vestibule and cochlea


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Medical Terminology: An Interactive Approach Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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