Prefix DictionaryA

Definitions of biological and medical prefixes

macroevolution logo EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD

Words Prefixes Suffixes Roots
 a | b | c | d | e | f-g | h | i-j 
 k-l | m | n | o | p-q | r-s | t | u-z 

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a- or an- [Greek a- and an- un-, non-] Negative, not (abiotic, acaulescent, acephalia, aphasia, asexual, atrophy, anorexia). Note: Before vowels, and usually before h, an- is used, but a- is used before consonants other than h (and sometimes even before h).

ab- [Latin ab departing from] Away from, outside of (abaxial).

abdomin- or abdomino- [Latin abdomen] Denotes the abdomen (abdominogenital, abdominopelvic).

abro- [Greek habros delicate] Delicate, graceful (Abrocoma = a genus of fine-haired, South American rodents).

ac- See: ad-.

acanth- or acantho- [Greek akantha thorn] Thorn, spine, any sharp process (acanthoid).

acar- or acari- or acario- or acaro- [Greek akari mite] Denotes ticks or mites (acarine, acarology).

accipitr- [Latin accipiter hawk] Denotes a bird of prey, usually goshawks or sparrowhawks (accipitral).

acet- or aceto- or acetyl- [Latin acetum vinegar, sour wine] Vinegar, acid, acetic, acetyl (acetamide).

aci- Indicates the acid of a tautomeric compound.

acicul- [Latin acicula small pin] Needle, needlelike (aciculate).

acipenser- [Latin acipenser sturgeon] Denotes sturgeon (Acipenseriformes).

acou- or acous- or acouso- or acoust- [Greek akouein to hear] Denotes hearing (acoumeter).

acr- or acro- [Greek akros uppermost] At the top or apex (acrogenous, acromion).

acrid- or acrido- [Greek akris grasshopper] Denotes grasshopper(s) (Acrididae).

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acromio- [Greek akromion acromion] Denotes the acromion (acromiohumeral).

actin- or actino- [Greek aktis ray] Having rays, radiating spines, or tentacles (Actinophrys).

acu- [Latin acus needle, pin] With a needle (acupuncture, acusection).

acule- or aculeo- [Latin aculeus sting, spine, thorn, prickle, point, spike] Stinging, prickly; prickle, thorn, spine (aculeolate).

acumin- [Latin acumen sharpened point, spur; sting; peak] Pointed, sharp, tapering, stinging (acuminate).

acuti- or acuto- [Latin acutus sharp, sharpened, pointed; severe; acute] Pointed, sharp, severe, acute (acutifoliate).

ad- [Latin ad to, up to, towards; near, at; on] Toward, at, on (adducent, adrenal). Note: ad- becomes ac- before c, k, or q (acclimation); af- before f (afferent); ag- before g (agglutinate); al- before l (allusion); ap- before p (approximal); as- before s (assimilate); at- before t (rare).

aden- or adeno- [Greek aden gland] Denotes gland (adenocarcinoma).

adip- or adipo- [Latin adeps fat, grease; fatty tissue] Denotes fat (adipose, adiposis).

adren- or adrenal- or adreno- [Latin ad and renalis pertaining to the kidney] Denotes the adrenal gland (adrenosterone). See: adren-.

aer- or aeri- or aero- [Latin aer air] Air (aerobic).

aequi- In taxonomic names: variant of equi.

aesthesi- or aesthesio- See: esthesi-.

aetio- See: etio-.

af- See: ad-.

after- Subsequent, behind; the word after retains its ordinary meaning when used as a prefix (afterbirth).

ag- See: ad-.

agr- or agri- or agrio- [Latin ager field, farm] Denotes farming, fields, rusticity, or wildness (agriculture).

alb- or albi- or albid- or albu- [Latin albus white, pale, fair, gray; bright, clear] White, pale, bright (albino).

alg- or alge- or alges- or algesi- or algesio- or algi- or algio- or algo- [Greek algesia sense of pain] Denotes pain or sensitivity to pain (algesia).

alkal- or alkali- [Arabic al-qili ashes of saltwort] Alkali (alkaline).

all- or allo- [Latin alius other, another; different, changed] Other, different, dissimilar, extraneous (allopolyploid).

alli- [Latin allium garlic] Pertaining to the onion genus Allium.

amb- or ambi- [Latin ambo both] Both (ambilateral).

ambly- or amblyo- [Greek amblys blunt, dull] Blunt, dull, impaired perception (amblyopia, Amblypygi).

ambul- or ambulo- [Latin ambulare to walk, move about] Denotes walking or moving about (ambulatory, Ambulocetus).

amethyst- [Greek amethystos amethyst] Lavender, purple (Lampornis amethystinus).

amid- or amido- Containing the amino group (—NH2); generally in combination with a acid radical (amidine).

amin- or amino- Containing the amino group (—NH2) in combination with a non-acid radical (aminoacetic acid).

amnio- [Greek amnion caul] Pertaining to the amnion (amniorrhexis).

ampel- [Greek ampelos grapevine] Denotes vines, especially grapevines (ampelinum).

amph- or amphi- [Greek amphoos around, on both sides] both, of both kinds, on both sides (amphibian, amphimixis).

amphor- [Greek amphoreus amphora] Shaped like an amphora, a type of ancient Grecian urn (amphorata).

ampl- [Latin ampliare enlarge, augment, widen] In taxonomic names: large, ample (Syzygium_amplifolium).

amplexi- [Latin amplecti surround, encircle, embrace, clasp] Clasping, grasping (amplexifoliate).

ampulla- [Latin ampulla ampulla = a small bottle used by the Romans] Denotes a bladder or flask (ampullaceous).

amygdal- [Latin amygdalum almond (tonsils are almond-shaped)] (1) almond(s); almond-shaped (amygdaloid); (2) tonsil (amygdalitis, amygdalotome)

amyl- [Latin amylum starch] Starch (amylase).

an- See: a-

an- or ana- [Greek ana up, on, back] (1) up, upward (anabolic, anagenesis); (2) back (anaphase).

an- or ano- [Latin anus anus] Pertaining to the anus (anorectal).

ancyl- or ancylo- or anchyl- or anchylo- See: ankyl-.

andr- or andro- [Greek andros genitive of aner, man] (1) of, pertaining to, or like a man or men; male (Andrias, androgen); (2) in plants, pertaining to the stamen.

anem- or anemo- [Greek anem wind] Denotes wind (anemochore).

angio- [Greek angos vessel] Relating to blood or lymph vessels (angiorrhexis).

anglo- [Old English Angles, pl of Engle; name of the Angles who invaded England in the 5th cent.] English (anglophobe).

aniso- [an- + iso-] Unequal, not uniform (anisogamy).

ankyl- or ankylo- or ancyl- or ancylo- or anchyl- or anchylo- [Greek ankylos bent; the second sense of fusion from reference to the fused joints of crooked limbs] (1) bent, curved (Ancylostomatidae); (2) fusion, stiffness, growing together (ankylodactylia).

ano- See: an-.

ant- or anti- or ante- or anth- [Greek anti- against] (1) against; (2) opposing (antienzyme); (2) neutralizing (antidote).

ante- [Latin ante in front, in view; before, facing] Before, in front, forward (antepenultimate).

anter- or antero- [Latin ante in front, in view; before, facing] In front, anterior (anteriad, anterolateral, anteroposterior).

anth- or antho- [Greek anthos flower] (1) flower; (2) flowerlike (anthocyanin).

anthrac- or anthraco- [Greek anthax coal, carbuncle] (1) coal (anthracosis); (2) anthrax-related.

anthrop- or anthropo- [Greek anthropos human] Of or relating to human beings (anthropomorphism).

ap- or aph- or apo- [Greek apo away from, off] Away from, off, detached; separate (apocarpous).

api- [Latin apis bee] Bee (apiology, apiphobia).

apic- or apici- or apico- [Latin apex, apicis point, top, summit; cap, crown] Tip, end, summit (apical).

apl- or aplo- See: haplo-.

aplano- [Greek aplanes fixed] Non-mobile (aplanospore).

append- or appendo- or appendic- or appendico- [Latin appendix appendage] Pertaining to the vermiform appendix (appendectomy, appendicitis).

arab- or arabo- [arabinose; arabinose is named for gum arabic, from which it was first isolated] Arabinose (arabogalactan).

arachn- or arachno- [Greek arachne spider] (1) pertaining to or like an arachnid (arachnodactyly); (2) relating to the arachnoid membrane (arachnitis).

arch- or archo- [Greek archos anus] Denotes the anus or rectum (archocele).

archa- or arche- or archeo- [Greek arche beginning] Original, initial, at the beginning (archetype).

argilla- or argilli- or argillo- [Latin argilla clay] Clay (argillaceous).

arct- or arcto- [Greek arktos bear (the animal); the sense, north, is through the northern constellation, the Great Bear] (1) bear (Arctodus); (2) north, northern (arctic).

arteri- or arterio- [Greek arteria artery] Artery (arteriography, arteriogram).

arteriol- or arteriolo- [arteri- + -ole] Arteriole (arteriolopathy).

arthr- or arthro- [Greek arthron joint] Joint (arthritis).

as- See: ad-.

asc- or asci- or asco- [Greek askos bag] bladder, sac, ascus (ascospore).

aster- or astero- or astro- [Greek aster star] star, star-shaped (asteroidea, astrobiology).

asthen- or astheno- [Greek asthenes weak] Denotes weakness or loss of strength (asthenia).

at- See: ad-.

atel- or atelo- [Greek atelos imperfect, defective] Imperfect, incomplete, developmental or structural defect (atelopodia, atelorachidia).

ater- or atri- or atro- [Latin ater black, dark] Black, dark (atriceps).

atm- or atmo- [Greek atmos vapor] Air, vapor (atmosphere).

athero- [atheroma form Greek athera gruel (atheromas are filled with a substance like gruel] Soft (atherosclerosis).

atlant- or atlanto- [Latin atlant- atlas] Pertaining to the atlas (altantad).

atri- or atrio- [Latin atrium the main room of a Roman house] Relating to an atrium, usually of a heart (atrioventricular).

attico- [Greek attikos upper part] Denotes the tympanic attic (atticitis).

atto- [Danish atten eighteen] 10-18 (attomole).

audio- [Latin audire to hear] (1) hearing (audiology); (2) sound (audiospectrometer).

aur- or auri- or auro- [Latin aurum gold] Gold, gold-colored (auric).

auri- or auricul- or auriculo- [Latin auris ear] (1) relating to the ear, earlike (Primula auricula); (2) relating to the auricula of the ear.

austral- or australo- [Latin australis southern] Southern (australopithecine).

aut- or auto- [Greek autos same, self] Self (autolysis, automaton).

aux- or auxo- [Greek auxeine to increase] Growth, increase (auxin, auxocyte).

avi- [Latin avis bird] Bird (aviculture).

ax- or axo- [Greek axon axle] Axis (axon).

axill- or axillo- [Latin axilla side, armpit] Armpit (axillobifemoral).

az- or azo- [a- + Greek zoe life; referring to the insufficiency of nitrogen alone to sustain life] (1) containing nitrogen (2) containing the group N=N bonded to carbon on both ends (azobenzene).