Prefix/Suffix Meanings

These are Latin and Greek, with some other language derived prefixes and suffixes that are put together to form scientific terms.


Prefix/Suffix

Meaning

Language

a

without

Greek

acantha

thorn

Greek

acido

acid

Greek

actinos

ray

Greek

aer

air

Greek

akantha

thorn

Greek

akrasia

bad mixture

Greek

aktis

ray

Greek

anellus

little ring

Latin

angeion

little case

Greek

angio

little case

Greek

anima

breath, soul

Latin

ankylo

crooked

Greek

anthos

flower

Greek

apex

summit

Latin

api

summit

Latin

archae

old

Greek

arthron

joint

Greek

askos

bladder

Greek

bacillus

little stick

Latin

bakterion

little stick

Greek

baktron

stick, staff, rod

Greek

basidion

small base

Greek

bios

life

Greek

blastos

bud or sprout

Greek

brachio

arm

Latin

brachium

arm

Latin

bronto

thunder

Greek

bryo

moss

Greek

bryon

moss

Greek

cephale

head

Greek

cephalo

head

Greek

cero

wax

Greek

ceros

horn

Greek

chaeto

long hair

Greek

chaite

hair

Greek

cheli

claw

Greek

chloro

green

Greek

chloros

yellow-green

Greek

chorda

cord

Latin

chrysos

golden

Greek

chytra

little earthen cooking pot

Greek

cilium

eyelash or the lower eyelid

Latin

coccus

berry

Latin

coel

hollow

Greek

complexus

an embrace, enfolding

Latin

compso

pretty

Greek

conus

cone

Latin

crania

brain

Greek

creatrix

creator

Latin

crustaceus

having a shell or crust

Latin

cryptos

hidden

Greek

cteno

comb

Greek

cutis

skin

Latin

cyano

dark blue

Greek

cycad

a palm

Greek

deino

terrible, whirling

Greek

derma

skin

Greek

deuteros

second

Greek

di

two

Latin

dino

terrible

Greek

dinos

whirling, rotation or eddy

Greek

echinos

sea urchin

Greek

echis

snake

Greek

ecto

outside

Greek

ektos

outside

Greek

endos

within

Greek

enteron

intestine, gut

Greek

entos

inside

Greek

eu

true,original,primitive

Greek

eury

broad, wide

Greek

fera

to bear

Latin

fero

carry, bear

Latin

ferre

to bear

Latin

filix

fern

Latin

firmus

strong, durable

Latin

flagellum

whip

Latin

flexus

bend

Greek

foramen

little hole, perforation

Latin

fungus

probably from Greek sp(h)ongos, sponge

Latin

gamos

marriage

Greek

gaster

stomach

Greek

ginkyo

silver apricot

Japanese

glene

eyeball, socket of joint

Greek

gnathos

jaw

Greek

gnetum

from Moluccan Malay ganemu

Latin

gracilis

slender, thin

Latin

gradus

step

Latin

gymnos

naked

Greek

hals

salt

Greek

haplo

single, simple

Greek

haptein

fasten

Greek

helmis

worm

Greek

hemi

half

Greek

hepat

liver

Greek

hyphos

web

Greek

karyon

seed, kernel, nucleus

Greek

kephale

head

Greek

keros

wax

Greek

khaite

long hair

Greek

kinein

to move

Greek

knide

filament, nettle

Greek

koilos

hollow

Greek

kranion

brain

Greek

krene

spring

Greek

kryptos

hidden

Greek

kteis

comb

Greek

ktistos

to establish

Greek

kyanos

dark blue

Greek

kykos

a palm

Greek

labyrinthulum

little labyrinth

Latin

loricus

corset, girdle

Latin

lyco

wolf

Greek

lykos

wolf

Greek

mandere

to chew

Latin

mandibulum

a jaw

Latin

masso

bulky, body

Greek

mastigio

whip

Greek

mastix

whip

Greek

mega

large

Greek

mendosus

having faults

Latin

mesos

middle

Greek

micro

small

Greek

mikros

small

Greek

molluscus

soft

Latin

monas

unit

Latin

moneres

single, solitary

Greek

monos

single

Greek

morph

form

Greek

morphe

form

Greek

mykes

fungus

Greek

myxa

mucus

Greek

nectid

swimming

Greek

nektos

swimming

Greek

nema

thread

Greek

nemertes

a sea nymph

Greek

nidus

nest

Latin

nuro

tail

Greek

oion

egg

Greek

omnis

all

Latin

onycho

claw

Greek

onyx

claw

Greek

oo

egg

Greek

opsia

sight, appearance

Greek

opsid

sight, appearance

Greek

opsis

sight, appearance

Greek

orthos

straight

Greek

otes

quality

Greek

oura

tail

Greek

pachy

thick

Greek

para

alongside of

Greek

pente

five

Greek

phaios

dusky,brown

Greek

pherein

to bear

Greek

philos

loving

Greek

phora

to bear

Greek

phorein

to bear

Greek

phoro

to bear

Greek

photo

light

Greek

phragma

fence

Greek

phyein

to bring forth, beget

Greek

phykos

seaweed, alga

Greek

phyo

to bring forth, beget

Greek

phyta

plant

Greek

phyton

plant

Greek

pirus

pear

Latin

placo

flat

Greek

plakos

flat

Greek

planta

plant

Latin

plasmodium

multinucleated mass of protoplasm not divided into cells

New Latin

platys

flat

Greek

pneutes

breather

Greek

pod

foot

Greek

pogon

beard

Greek

porus

pore

Latin

pous

foot

Greek

priapulus

little penis

Latin

pro

before

Greek

procta

anus

Greek

proktos

anus

Greek

protos

very first

Greek

pseudes

false

Greek

pseudo

false

Greek

psilo

bare, smooth

Greek

pteridion

little wing, little feather

Greek

raptor

plunderer, robber

Latin

rex

king

Latin

rhiza

root

Greek

rhodos

red

Greek

rhombus

a spinning top

Greek

rota

wheel

Latin

rynchos

snout

Greek

sapros

rotten

Greek

saur

lizard

Greek

saurus

lizard

Greek

siphunculus

little pipe

Latin

sperma

seed

Greek

sphen

wedge

Greek

spira

coil, twist

Latin

spora

seed

Greek

spora

spore

Latin

stigma

brand put on slave,mark, spot

Greek

stoma

mouth

Greek

tardus

slow

Latin

tener

soft, tender

Latin

theion

sulfur

Greek

thermo

hot, heat

Greek

thraus

easily broken

Greek

thrix

hair

Greek

toga

Roman citizen garment

Latin

tracheia

rough pipe, windpipe

Greek

tri

three

Latin

tricha

hair

Greek

trophos

feeder

Greek

tyranno

tyrant

Latin

ura

tailed

Latin

uro

tail

Greek

veloci

speedy

Latin

velociter

speedily, swift

Latin

xanthos

yellow

Greek

xenos

stranger

Greek

zoa

animal

Greek

zoic

animal

Greek

zoion

animal

Greek

zygon

pair

Greek


Return to Dinosaur Lecture
Last Updated on 3/11/98
By Dr. John R. Anderson, Jr.
Email:
janderso@dekalb.dc.peachnet.edu