Prefixes & Suffixes A-D

Prefixes & Suffixes: A – D

Root

Meanings

 

Sample Words and Definitions

a/n

not, without

 

abyss – without bottom; achromatic – without color; anhydrous – without water

a

on

 

afire – on fire; ashore – on the shore; aside – on the side

ab/s, a

from, away, off

 

abduct – carry away by force; abnormal – away from normal, not normal; absent – away, not present; aversion – the act of turning away from; abbreviate: to shorten.

ac, ad 

to, toward, near

 

accelerate – to increase the speed of; accessible – easily entered, approached, or obtained; admittance – allowing into; 

acro

top, height, tip, beginning

 

acrobat – a "high walker"; acronym – a word formed from the first (capital) letters of a word; acrophobia – fear of height

act

do

 

activity – something that a person does; react – to do something in response; interaction – communication between two or more things 

aer/o

air

 

aerate – to let air reach something; aerial – relating to the air; aerospace – the air space

agr/i/o

farming

 

agriculture – management of the land, agribusiness – making money by utilizing land; agrarian – relating to the management of land

alg/o

pain

 

neuralgia – pain caused by a nerve; analgesic – a drug that makes one pain free; nostalgia – aching for the familiar

ambi, amphi

both, on both sides, around

 

ambidextrous – able to use both hands equally; ambiguous – having more than one meaning; ambivalence – conflicting or opposite feelings toward a person or thing

ambul

walk, move

 

amble – to walk in a slow, relaxed way; ambulant – walking or moving around; ambulance – a vehicle that moves a patient

ami/o

love

 

amiable – friendly, pleasant, lovable; amity – friendly and peaceful relations; amorous – showing romantic love

ana

up, back, against,
again, throughout

 

analysis – a close examination of something; anatomy – the structure of something as visible when cut up for analysis; anachronism – not being in the right place in time

andr/o

man, male

 

androgynous – being both male and female; android – resembling a human; misandry – hatred towards men 

anim

life, spirit

 

animal – a living organism; animate – to make alive; equanimity – of balanced spirit

ann, enn

year

 

anniversary – a date observed once a year; annual – happening once a year; millennium – 1,000 years

ante

before, in front

 

antecede – to come before something in time; antemeridian – before noon; anteroom- a small room before the main room

anth/o

flower

 

chrysanthemum and amaranth – names of flowers; anthology – a collection of treasured writings; anthozoan – half plant, half animal, like anemones and corals.

anthrop/o

human

 

anthropology – the study of mankind; anthropomorphism – giving human form to non-human things; philanthropy – the love to mankind (expressed through good deeds)

anti

against, opposite of

 

antibody – a substance that destroys micro-organisms; antiseptic – preventing infection;  antisocial – opposing social norm

apo, apho

away, off, separate

 

aphorism – a short expression of a general truth; apology – an explicit expression of regret, apostrophe – a small dash used in place of an omitted letter 

aqu/a

water

 

aquarium – a water container for fish; aquatic- relating to water; aqueduct – a pipeline for water

arbor

tree

 

arborist – someone working with trees; arbor – a shady area formed by trees; arborous – having many trees

arch/i
/e/o/ae

chief, most important, rule

 

archbishop – the highest ranking bishop; archenemy – chief or worst enemy; matriarch – a female who rules a group; monarch – a king or queen

archa/e,
archi

primitive, ancient

 

archaeology – the study of ancient cultures; archaic – belonging to an earlier period; archive – a collection of historical materials

arthr/o

joint

 

arthroscope – a tool to see inside a joint; arthritis – inflammation of a joint; arthropod – invertebrates with jointed legs, like spiders, crustaceans, insects

art

skill

 

artifact – object made by a person’s skill; artisan – a person skilled in a craft; artist – a person who creates skillfully

astro,
aster

star, stars, outer space

 

astronaut – a person traveling to the stars; astronomer – someone who studies the stars; asterisk – a star-shaped sign used as a reference tool

aud/i/io

hear

 

audible – loud enough to be heard; audience – people who listen to a program; audiovisual – relating to sound and vision

auto

self, same, one

 

autocrat – a person who governs with absolute power; autograph – a person’s own signature; automatic – moving by itself

avi/a

bird

 

aviary – a large enclosure for birds; aviatrix – a female airplane pilot; aviation – the art of designing or operating aircraft

bar/o

pressure, weight

 

baric – pertaining to pressure, esp. of the atmosphere;  milliard – metric unit, equal to 1/1000th of a bar; baryon – heavy elementary particle

bell/i

war

 

bellicose – warlike; belligerent – hostile, ready to fight; rebel – person who opposes and fights

bene

good, well

 

benefactor – person who gives money to a cause; beneficial – producing a good effect; benevolent – showing kindness or goodwill 

bi/n

two, twice, once in every two

 

biannual – happening twice a year; binoculars – optical device with two lenses; bilateral – of or involving two sides

bibli/o

book

 

bibliography – a list of books used as sources; bibliomania – an extreme love of books; bibliophile – a person who loves books

bio

life, living matter

 

biography- a life story written by another person; biology – the science of life; biosphere – Earth’s surface inhabited by living things

blast/o

cell, primitive, immature cell

 

blastula – an early stage of embryonic development; fibroblast – a cell that forms connective tissue; blastoderm – the layer surrounding the inside of an egg

capt, cept

take, hold

 

intercept – to stop or interrupt; recapture – taking something back; captivating – taking hold of

cardi/o

heart

 

cardiac – relating to the heart; cardiogenic – resulting from heart disease; cardiologist – a heart doctor

carn/i

flesh, meat

 

carnivorous – flesh-eating; carnal – pertaining to the body or flesh; incarnate – given bodily form

cata

down, against
completely,  intensive,
according to

 

cataclysm – a flood or other disaster, catalog – a complete listing; catastrophe – turning for the worst, a substantial disaster

caust,
caut

to burn

 

cauterize – to burn with a hot instrument; caustic – capable of burning or eating away; holocaust – total devastation, especially by fire 

cede,
ceed,
cess

go, yield

 

exceed – to go beyond the limits;  recede – to go back; accessible – easily entered, approached,
or obtained; 

ceive,
cept

take

 

accept – to take a thing that is offered; perceive – to take notice of something; receive – to take something given

celer

fast

 

accelerate – to increase the speed of; decelerate – to reduce the speed of

cent/i

hundred, hundredth

 

centennial- the 100th anniversary; centimeter – 1/100 of a meter; century – 100 years

centr/o/i

center

 

egocentric – self-centered; eccentric – not having a common center, not according to norm; centrifugal – moving outward from a center

cephal/o

head

 

encephalitis – inflammation of the brain; cephalic – pertaining to the head; cephalopod – marine mollusks like octopus and squid who have tentacles growing from their head

cerebr/o

brain 

 

cerebral – pertaining to the brain; cerebrate – to use the brain; cerebrospinal – pertaining to the brain and the spinal cord

cert

sure

 

ascertain- to find out something with certainty; certain – being absolutely sure; certify – to state that something is true

chrom/o chromat/o, chros

color, pigment

 

achromatic – without color; chromium – a blue-white metallic chemical element, chromatics – the study of color

chron/o

time

 

chronic – lasting for a long time; chronological – arranging events in time order, synchronize – happening at the same time

chrys/o

gold, yellow

 

chrysanthemum and helichrysum – golden/yellow flowers; chrysolite – a yellowish gem

cide, cise

cut, kill

 

homicide – murder; incisor – a sharp tooth for cutting food; insecticide – a chemical used to kill insects

circum,
circle

around, about

 

circumnavigate – to sail around; circumscribe – to draw around; circumspect – looking around

claim, clam

shout, speak out

 

clamor – to shout and make noise; exclaim – to cry out loudly and suddenly; proclamation – something announced officially in public 

clar

clear

 

clarification – an explanation; clarify – to make something clear; declare – to state something clearly

clud, clus

close

 

conclusion – the end or last part; exclusion – shutting out, rejecting; seclude – to keep away from; to isolate

cline

lean

 

inclination – a leaning toward; incline – a surface that slopes or leans; recline – to lean back and relax

co

with, together, joint

 

coauthor – writer who collaborates with another author; coeducation – educating males and females together; cohousing – planning your neighborhood in an intentional neighborly fashion

col

together, jointly

 

Collaborate – to work together; collision – smashing together; colloquial – words formed by everday interaction

com

together, common

 

commemorate – to memorize together; composition – an arrangement or putting together of parts; commune – living together while owning things in common

cogn/i

know

 

cognition – process of acquiring knowledge;  incognito – disguised so no one knows you; recognize – to discover that one knows

con

with, jointly

 

concur – to agree with someone; contemporary – of the same time period as others; convention – a gathering of people with a common interest

contra/o

against, opposite

 

contradict to argue against, Contraflow, contraception, contrary not in agreement, controversy disagreement

corp/o

body

 

corporation – a company recognized by law as a single body; corpse – a dead body; corporal – pertaining to the body

cosm/o

universe

 

cosmonaut – a Russian astronaut; cosmos – the universe; microcosm – a miniature universe

counter

opposite, contrary, opposing

 

counteract – to oppose the effects of an action; countermand – to cancel a previous order; counteroffensive – attack against an attack

cranio

skull

 

craniology – the study of skull characteristics; cranium – skull of vertebrates; cranial – pertaining to the skull

cred

believe

 

credence – belief that something is true or valid; credulous – believing things too easily, gullible; incredible – unbelievable

crypto

hidden, secret

 

cryptic – of hidden meaning; cryptography – science of secret codes; encrypt – encode into secret code

cumul

mass, heap

 

accumulate – to gather or pile up; cumulative – gradually building up 

cycl

circle, ring

 

bicycle – a vehicle with two wheels; cycle – a sequence that is repeated; cyclone – a storm with circling winds

de

reduce, away, down, remove

 

decelerate – to slow down, reduce speed; dethrone – to remove from power; debug – to remove bugs 

dec/a,
deka

ten

 

decade – 10 years; decathlon – athletic contest that includes 10 disciplines in which each participant competes; December – formerly the 10th month of the Roman calendar

deci

one tenth

 

deciliter – a tenth of a liter; decimate – reduce dramatically; decibel – one tenth of the sound volume unit bel

dem/o

people

 

democracy – government of the people; demographic – the study of people; epidemic – spreading among people in a region

demi

half, less than

 

demitasse – a small cup of coffee; demimonde – someone of little respected life style

dendr/o/i

tree

 

philodendron – a climbing plant that grows on trees; dendrochronology – dating events by studying growth rings in trees; dendriform – in the shape of a tree

dent, dont

tooth

 

dental – relating to teeth; dentist – a doctor for the teeth; dentures – a set of false teeth

derm/a

skin

 

dermatologist – a doctor for the skin; pachyderm – a class of animals with very thick skin (elephant, rhinoceros); dermatitis – inflammation of the skin

di/plo

two, twice

 

dichromatic – displaying two colors; diploma – a certificate, literally "a letter folded double"; dilemma – a situation that requires a choice between two alternatives.

di/s

apart, away,
not, to the opposite

 

digression – a departure from the main issue, subject; disappear – to move out of sight; dissect – to cut apart piece by piece.

dia

through, between,
apart, across

 

diabetes – disease characterized by excessive thirst and discharge of urine; diagnosis – understanding a condition by going through a detailed review of symptoms; dialog – conversation between two people.

dict

speak

 

contradict – to express the opposite of; prediction – a statement foretelling the future; dictate – to speak out loud for another person to write down.

domin

master

 

dominate – to be the master of; domineering – excessively controlling; predominate – to have more power than others

don/at

give

 

donation – a contribution or gift; donor – someone who gives something; pardon – to give forgiveness for an offense

duc/t

lead

 

conduct – to lead musicians in playing music; educate – to lead to knowledge; deduction – a subtraction of an amount.

du/o

two, twice

 

duplicate – make an identical copy; duet – a musical composition for two voices or instruments; duo – a pair normally thought of as being together.

dur

harden, to last, lasting

 

durable – having the quality of lasting; duration – the length of time something lasts; enduring – able to last.

dyn/a/am

power, energy, strength

 

dynamo – a generator of energy; dynamic – having physical energy/power; dynamite – a powerful explosive.

dys

abnormal, bad

 

dyspepsia – abnormal indigestion; dystopia – an imaginary place of total misery; dyslexia – impairment of the ability to handle words.

Written by The UnNovelist
The Unnovelist