Root Words

Word

Definition

Examples

arch

ancient

archaeology

aster/astra

star

astronomy, astronaut

audi

hear

inaudible, auditorium

bio

life

biology, biography

brev

short

abbreviation, brevity

chron

time

synchronize, chronological

cred, credit

belief, faith, confidence

creditable, credit card

cycle

wheel, circle

motorcycle, tricycle

fix

fasten

suffix, fixative

geo

earth

geology, geometry

graph

write/draw

photography, paragraph

hydro

water

hydropower, hydrate

illus

draw, show

illusory, illustrative

legis, leg

law, write

legislature, illegible

log, logue

word, thought

monologue, illogical

nega

deny

negative, negate

op, oper

work

cooperation, operator

path

feeling

pathetic, sympathy, empathy

phil

love

philosophy, philanthropic

phon

voice, sound

telephone, phonetic

phys

body, nature

physics, physiology

psych

soul, mind

psyche, psychiatric

quar

four

quart, quarto

quint

five

quintet, quintuplet

science

knowledge

conscience, conscientiousness

scrib, script

write

scribble, manuscript

sex

six

sextet, sextuplet

tact

touch

intact, tactile

tele

far off, distant

telephone, television

ten

to hold

tenure, tenant

ter, terr

earth

extraterrestrial, terrain

urb

city

urban, urbane

val

true

valid, invalidate

verb

word

verbal, reverberate

Prefixes

Word

Definition

Examples

a-, an-

without, not

asocial, anachronism

ab-

away, away from

abnormal, abductor

ad-

to, toward, near

adhere, adductor

agri-, agrio-

fields

agriculture, agribusiness

ambul-

walk, move around

ambulatory, ambulance

ami-, amic-

friend

amicable, amity

amor-

love, loving, fondness for

amorous, amoral

amphi-

round, both sides

amphitheater, amphibian

anima-, anim-

life, breath, soul, mind

animate, animal

anni-, annu-

year, yearly

annual, annuity

ante-

before, prior to

antecedent, antebellum

anti-

against

antipathy, anticlimax

aqua-

water

aquarium, aqueous

auto-

self, directed from within

automatic, automated

bi-

two, double

bipartisan, biennial

cardio-

pertaining to the heart

cardiologist, cardiogram

carni-

flesh, meat

carnivorous, carnivore

centi-, cent-

hundred

centigrade, centipede

cinema-

set in motion, movement

cinematography, cinematic

circum-

around, surrounding

circumference, circumspect

co-

with, together, jointly

cooperate, co-owner

contra-, counter-

opposed, against

contradict, contrary

corp-, corpus-

body

corpse, corporation

cour-

heart

courage, courageous

cur-

heal, cure

curative, curable

curr-, curs-

run, go

curriculum, cursive

de-

away from, downward

dethrone, depart

deca-

ten

decimal, decathlon

dei-, div-

God

deity, divine

demos-

people

democracy, demographic

dent-

teeth

denture, dentist

dia-

across, through

diagonal, diagnosis

dis-

not, apart, reversal

disrespect, disinherit

do-, don-

gift

donation, donor

dominus-

lord

dominant, dominion

dorm-, dormi-

sleeping

dormitory, dormant

duo-, du-

two, a number

duplicate, duologue

dyna-, dyn-

power, strength, force

dynamite, dynamic

dys-

bad, harsh, disordered

dysfunction, dyslexia

eco-

house, household affairs

ecology

ego-

I, self

ego, egomaniac, egocentric

en-, em-

in, into, to cover or contain

encipher, embody

epi-

upon, above, over

epidermis, epitaph

ergo-, erg-

work

ergometer, ergonomics

etym-

truth, true meaning, real

etymology, etymologist

ex-

out of, former

exterior, extract

extra-

beyond, outside, external

extracurricular, extramural

fidel-

believe, belief, trust, faith

fidelity

fin-

end, last, limit, boundary

finality, infinity

fluct-

flow, wave

fluctuation, fluctuant

fortu-, fortun-

chance, fate, luck

fortune, fortunate

frater-

brother

fraternity, fratricide

grad-

walk, step, move around

graduate, gradual

grav-, griev-

heavy, weighty

gravity, grievous

helio-, heli-

sun

heliocentric, heliostat

hemi-

half

hemisphere, hemistich

hetero-

mixed, different, unlike

heterogeneous, heteronym

homo-

same, alike

homonym, homogeneous

hyper-

above, over, excessive

hyperventilate, hypercritical

hypo-

under, below, less than

hypoglycemia, hypoallergenic

ideo-

idea

ideology, ideal

idios-

one's own

idiom, idiosyncrasy

il-

not, in, into, within

illogical, illiterate

im-

not

impossible, imperceptible

in-

in

incorporate, induction

inter-

between, among

interact, Internet

intra-

within, inside

intramural, intravenous

jet-

throw, send, fling, cast, spurt

jettison, jetsam

kilo-, kil-

one thousand

kilogram, kilometer

lav-, lava-

wash, bathe

lavage, lavatory

lexis-

word

lexicon, lexicography

liber-

free, book

liberty, liberal

loc-

talk, speak, speech

locution

lumin-, lum-

shine

luminescence, luminaries

luna-

moon, light, shine

lunar, lunatic

macro-

large, great, enlarged

macroeconomics, macrobiotics

magni-, magn-

large, big, great

magnificence, magnify

mal-

bad, ill, wrong, abnormal

maladjusted, malfeasance

mega-

large, great, big, powerful

megavitamin, megalomania

micro-

small, tiny

microscope, microfiche

milli-

thousand

millimeter, milligram

mini-, minut-, minu-

small, little

minuscule, miniature

mis-

bad, badly

mistrust, misspell

miso-, mis-

hate, hater, hatred

misogamy, misogyny

mono-

one, alone

monocle, monogamy

mor-, mori-

death, dead

mortician, morbid

multi-

many, much

multinational, multiply

neo-, ne-

new, recent, current

neoclassical, neophyte

non-

not

nonessential, nonfiction

oligo-, olig-

few, abnormally small

oligarchy, oligopoly

omni-, omn-

all, every

omnipresent, omnipotent

pac-

calm, peaceful

pacify, pacific

pachy-, pach-

thick, dense, large, massive

pachyderm, pachytene

pan-

all, every, completely

pantheistic, pan-American

pater-

father

paternity, patricide

photo-

light

photosynthesis, photoelectric

poly-

many, much, excessive

polygamy, polymorphous

post-

after

postscript, posterior

pre-

before

pregame, prenuptial

pro-

before, in favor of, forward

project, pro-American

pyro-, pyr-

fire, burn

pyromania, pyrotechnics

re-

restore, back, again

reassemble, redirect

retro-

backward, behind, back

retrospective, retrofit

sed-

sit

sedate, sedentary

semi-

twice, half

semiannual, semicolon

soli-, sol-

one, alone, only

solitary, solo

sono-, son-, sona-

sound

supersonic

spec-

see, look, appear, examine

spectator, spectacles

stereo-,

stere solid, firm, three-dimensional

stereograph, stereoscope

sub-

under, beneath

subterranean, subway

super-, supra-, sur-

above, over, excessive

supermodel, surcharge

syn-, sym-

together, with, along with

synchronize, symmetry

tacho-, tach-

fast, swift, rapid acceleration

tachometer, tachyarrthythmia

thermo-, therm-

heat

thermometer, thermostat

trans-

across, on the other side

transport, transatlantic

ultra-

extreme, beyond

ultraconservative, ultralight

un-

not

unsanctioned, unorthodox

uni-

one, single

union, unicycle

xeno-, xen-

foreign, strange

xenophobia, xenolith

zoo-

animal, living being, life

zoo, zoolatry

Suffixes

Suffix

Definition

Examples

-able, -ible

able, likely, can do

capable, visible

-ade

act, action

blockade, renegade

-al

characterized by, pertaining to

national, directional

-an, -ian

native of, pertaining to

Martian, Kentuckian

-ance

quality or state of being

protuberance, parlance

-ancy

action, process, condition

hesitancy, infancy

-ant

someone who or something that

observant, savant

-arch

ruler, chief

monarch, matriarch

-ary

related to, connected with

budgetary, planetary

-ation

action, result

syncopation, navigation

-cian

possessing a particular skill

musician, physician

-cide

kill

homicide, pesticide

-cracy

rule

democracy, theocracy

-dom

state of being, realm, office

freedom, wisdom

-ee

one who receives action

employee, refugee

-eer

worker, one who does

auctioneer, profiteer

-en

made of, resembling, become

maiden, harden

-er, -or

one who, that which

weaver, dictator

-ery

skill

bravery, embroidery

-escent

in the process of, becoming

adolescent, quiescent

-esque

in the manner of, resembling

picturesque, Romanesque

-fic

making, causing

terrific, scientific

-ful

full of, characterized by

cheerful, wonderful

-hood

order, quality, state of being

falsehood, brotherhood

-ial

characterized, pertaining to

presidential, industrial

-ify

make, cause

purify, vilify

-ism

condition, manner

feminism, nationalism

-ist

one who, believer, does

elitist, biologist

-itis

inflammation, burning sensation

bursitis, phlebitis

-ity, -ty

state of, quality

captivity, adaptability

-less

without

groundless, penniless

-ment

act of, result, means

disappointment, statement

-ness

quality, degree, state of

forgiveness, happiness

-ology

study of

psychology, ideology

-osis

action, process, condition

hypnosis, tuberculosis

-ous

marked by, having quality of

courteous, fibrous

-phobia

fear of

claustrophobia, agoraphobia

-ship

state, quality

relationship, dictatorship

-wise

in the direction of

clockwise, crosswise

-y

full of

blossomy, muddy

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