Chapter 23: Some Medical Terminology

§139. Standard Medical Suffixes (all Greek)

The following will often be attached by the combining vowel -o-, as in rhin-o-plasty.

-ist istēs (ἰστης) (creates agent noun; L -ista)
itis inflamed condition
ōsis abnormal condition
ōma morbid affection (a growth, L tumor)
-iasis disease, abnormal condition
-tomy tomia cutting; cf. L incision– (caedere, caesus)
-ectomy ektomia cutting out; cf. L excision-
-stomy stom(at) mouth, opening; cf. L. or-i-ficium > E orifice
-plasty plass-/plast shaping, moulding
-rrh(o)ea rhe (rhoia) flow, discharge (e.g., διαῤῥοια)
-rrhagia rhag/rheg rapid discharge
-rrhexis rhag/rheg bursting; cf. L ruptura (rupture)
-rrhaphy rhapt/rhaph[1] stitching; cf. L sutura (suture)

  1. This is the root that appears in rhapsode (an ancient Greek “song-stitcher”) and rhapsody.


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Greek and Latin Roots: Part II - Greek Copyright © 2016 by Peter Smith (Estate) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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