Word Parts and Structural Terms

Combining Forms

adip/o: fat

albin/o: white

aut/o: self

bi/o: life

carcin/o: cancer, malignant

coni/o: dust

crypt/o: hidden

cutane/o: skin

cyan/o: blue

cyst/o: fluid-filled sac

cyt/o: cell

derm/o: skin

dermat/o: skin

erythr/o: red

heter/o: other

hidr/o: sweat

ichthy/o: fishlike, dry, scaly

kerat/o: hard, horny tissue, keratin

melan/o: black

myc/o: fungus

necr/o: death

onych/o: nail

pachy/o: thick

pil: hair

pruri/o: itch

reticul/o: net

rhytid/o: wrinkles

scler/o: hard

seb/o: oil/sebum

staphyl/o: grapelike clusters

strept/o: twisted chains

vascul/o: blood vessel

xanth/o, cirrh/o, jaund/o: yellow

xer/o: dryness, dry


a-: absence of

bi-: two or both

cryo-: cold

dia-: through, complete

dys-: difficult, painful, abnormal, labored

epi-: upon, on, over

hyper-: above, excessive

hypo-: deficient, below, under, incomplete

intra-: within, in

meta-: change, beyond, after

neo-: new

para-: beside, around, beyond, abnormal

per-: through

pro-: before

sub-: under, below

trans-: through, across, beyond

uni-: one


-a: no meaning, noun ending

-al: pertaining to

-ad: toward

-coccus: berry-shaped

-cyte: cell

-ectomy: excision

-gen: substance that produces/causes, agent that produces/causes

-genic: producing, originating, causing

-ia: condition of, diseased state, abnormal state

-ic: pertaining to

-itis: inflammation

-ior: pertaining to

-logy: study of

-logist: specialist who studies and treats

-malacia: softening

-megaly: enlarged, enlargement

-oid: resembling

-oma: tumor, swelling

-opsy: view of, process of viewing, viewing

-osis: abnormal condition, increased numbers relating to blood

-ous: pertaining to

-pathy: disease

-phagia: eating, swallowing

-plasia: development, growth, condition of formation

-plasm: growth, substance, formation

-plasty: surgical repair

-rrhea: flow, discharge

-sis: state of

-stasis: stop, controlling, standing

-tome: instrument used to cut

Structural Terms Built from Word Parts

adipocytes: fat cells

avascular: pertaining to no blood vessels

cutaneous: pertaining to the skin

dermal: pertaining to the skin

dermat: skin

dermatome: area of skin supplied by a single spinal nerve

epidermal: pertaining to on top of the skin

hypodermic: pertaining to below the skin (interchangeable with subcutaneous)

intradermal: pertaining to within the skin

keratinocytes: cell producing a hard protein

melanocyte: melanin-producing cell

percutaneous: pertaining to through the skin

phagocyte: cell that eats

reticular: pertaining to being net-like

sebaceous: pertaining to sebum (oil) / oil producing

subcutaneous: pertaining to below the skin (interchangeable with hypodermic)

subungual: pertaining to under the nail

transcutaneous: pertaining to through or across the skin

transdermal: pertaining to through or across the skin

ungual: pertaining to the nail

vascular: pertaining to / having blood vessels


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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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