Word Parts and Structural Terms

Combining Forms

immun/o: immune, immunity

lymph/o: lymph, lymph tissue

lymphaden/o: lymph gland, lymph node

myel/o: bone marrow, spinal cord

splen/o: spleen

thym/o: thymus gland


a-: no, not, negates meaning

an-: no, not, negates meaning


-cyte: cell

-ectomy: excision, cut out

-itis: inflammation

-logist: specialist, physician who studies and treats

-logy: study of

-megaly: enlarged, enlargement

-oid: resembling

-oma: tumor, swelling

-osis: abnormal condition

-pathy: disease

-rrhaphy: suturing

Structural/Complementary Terms Built from Word Parts

lymphoid: relating to the lymphatic tissue

lymphocyte: immune cell commonly found in the lymphatic system; responsible for adaptive and long-term immunity

Structural/Complementary Terms Not Built from Word Parts

antibody: proteins produced by B lymphocytes in response to a non-self antigen; also called immunoglobulins

antigen: a substance that provokes an immune response

immune: possessing immunity to a pathogen

immunity: after an infection, memory cells remain in the body for a long time and can very quickly mount an immune response against the same pathogen if it tries to re-infect

immunization: the process of inducing immunity artificially with weakened or killed pathogens, antigens from the pathogen, or mRNA coding for a protein from a pathogen

vaccine: an agent administered by injection, orally, or by nasal spray that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease


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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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