Root Word Dictionary

Greek and Latin roots

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Root Word Dictionary is the largest online dictionary of word roots. Here, you'll find the meanings of all the Greek and Latin root words commonly used in constructing biological and medical terminology. The list is alphabetical, which lets you look roots up even if you're not sure about their exact spellings. In the index above, click on the first letter of the root you seek. You can also use the automated search engine, which searches the entire root dictionary (click on the search link at the top of this page).

To find the meanings of Greek and Latin roots:

  1. First, click on the "Search for roots" link at the top of this page;
  2. Then, in the search box, enter the English meaning of the root you want to find;
  3. The root word you're looking for should show up in the results.

More about using Root Word Dictionary:

To understand how Greek and Latin roots word are used in constructing terminology:

  1. First, look a root word up in the dictionary;
  2. Then, look up similarly spelled prefixes and suffixes in the prefix and suffix dictionary on this site, which gives examples to show how these roots function in word origins;
  3. Next, look up the meanings of the example terms given in the prefix and suffix dictionary (most of which are linked to their definitions in the biology dictionary on this site).

Latin and Greek Root Words

The Greek and Latin roots listed in this dictionary are words from which the prefixes and suffixes used in constructing biological terminology are frequently derived. Often, multiple prefixes and suffixes are based on a single root. In general, the components used in constructing scientific terminology and med terms are either of Latin or Greek derivation. In building these terms, scientists have traditionally avoided hybrid terms combining word parts derived from Latin roots with other parts derived from Greek roots (although this rule has not been as strictly followed in recent years).

More about Greek and Latin roots >>

Notice: We've moved our root word finder to a separate web page. To search for Greek and Latin roots, please click here to access this dictionary’s automated root finder at its new location.

To cite this publication:

McCarthy, E. M. 2013. Root Word Dictionary. (Add access date).

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