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Greek and Latin medical words

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    Greek and Latin medical words

    I was just thinking that it would be helpful to many people here to know the meaning of Latin and Greek words that are used in medical words:

    Here are some:

    theo- (god), oligo- (few), artio- (even number), helio- (sun), hagio- (saint)
    -gony (origin), -poly (selling), -dactyl (toes or fingers), -latry (worship), -graphy (writing)


    Here are some Greek origins, with examples:

    Stoma = opening or mouth
    Ostomy = an artificial opening made into an organ
    Tetra = four
    Tetraplegia = paralysis effecting all four limbs
    Pluera = side, rib
    Pluerisy = inflammation of the out layer of the lungs
    Pneuma = air, breathe
    Pneumonia = infection and accumulation of secretions in the lungs
    Derma = skin
    Dematome = area of skin innervated by a single nerve root
    Kardia = heart
    Osteon = bone
    a or an = without, none
    areflexic = without reflexes
    Dys = bad, difficult, defective
    Dyspnea = difficult breathing
    Hyper = over, above, excessive
    Hypertension = high blood pressure
    Hypo = under, below, insufficient
    Hypotension = low blood pressure
    Para = near, alongside, apart from, abnormal
    Parathyroid = small glands on either side of the thyroid
    Paraplegia = like a stroke, near to a stroke (the original meaning)
    Peri = about or around
    Perianal = the area around the anus
    Pro = before, forward, in advance
    Prophylactic = preventive, advance protection
    -itis = inflammation
    Appendicitis = inflammation of the appendix
    -oma = swelling or tumor
    -oid = resemblance to
    Typhoid = like typhus
    Xyphoid = swordlike tip of the breast bone
    Gyne = female, woman
    Hema, Hemat = pertaining to blood
    Hematoma = collection of blood outside a blood vessel
    Hematuria = blood in the urine
    Nephro = kidney
    Nephrologist = kidney specialist
    Hydro = water
    Hydronephrosis = distention of the ureter with urine
    Litho = stone
    Lithotrysy = crushing or shattering of a kidney stone
    My, Myo = muscle
    Myalgia = pain in the muscle
    Myocardio = pertaining to the heart muscle
    Pod = foot
    Pyo = pus
    Pyleonephritis = infection of the kidney with pus (white blood cell) production
    Leuko =
    Leukocyte = white blood cell
    Oligo = few, little
    Oligouria = insufficient production of urine
    Oligodendrocyte = a cell in the brain that makes myelin
    Plasty = form, repair
    Plastic surgeon
    Rhinoplasty = nose job
    -rrhea = flow
    Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
    These are Latin:

    Meatus = opening
    Urinary meatus = opening of the urethra
    Pulmo = lung
    Cervix = neck

    Caries = decay
    Dental caries = cavities
    Ambi = both, both sides
    Ambidextrous = can use right or left hand equally
    Ante = before, in front of
    Antepartum = before birth
    Antecubital = the front (or inside) of the elbow
    Bi = both, double, twice
    Bilateral = both sides
    Bicuspid = tooth or valve having two points
    Supra = above, upon, over, upper
    Suprapubic = above the pubic bone
    Here is an interesting article:

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      I love the amount of words that can be formed using Latin and Greek prefixes and suffixes. They're remarkable languages.