Prefixes & Suffixes A-D

Prefixes & Suffixes: K – O

Root

Meanings

 

Sample Words and Definitions

kilo

thousand

 

kilobyte – 1,000 bytes; kilometer – 1,000 meter; kilograms – 1,000 grams.

kine/t
/mat

motion, division

 

kinetics – study of the force of motion; psychokinesis or telekinesis – the ability to move objects with your mind; cinematography – motion picture making.

lab

work

 

collaborate – to work with a person; elaborate – to work out the details; laborious – requiring a lot of hard work.

lact/o

milk

 

lactate – to give milk, nurse; lactose – the sugar contained in milk; lactic acid.

later

side

 

bilateral – of or involving two sides; unilateral – affecting one side of something.

leuk/o,
leuc/o

white, colorless

 

leukemia – abnormal increase of white blood cells in the blood; leukocyte – a mature white blood cell; leucine – a white, crystalline amino acid.

lex

word, law, reading

 

lexicology – the study and history of words; alexia -loss of the ability to read; illegal – not authorized by the official rules or laws.

liber

free

 

liberate – to set free; libertine – a person with a free, wild lifestyle; liberty – freedom.

lingu

language, tongue

 

linguist – one who studies languages; multilingual – able to communicate in multiple languages; linguine – long, flat "tongue-shaped" pasta.

lip/o

fat

 

liposuction – the mechanical removal of fat reserves in the tissue; lipase – enzyme that breaks down fat; lipoid – resembling fat.

lite, ite,
lith/o

mineral, rock, fossil

 

appatite – a group of common minerals; granite – a hard, granular rock; monolith – a remarkable, unique stone.

loc

place

 

dislocate – to put something out of its usual place; location – a place;  relocate – to move to a new place.

log/o

word, doctrine, discourse

 

logic – correct reasoning; monologue – a long speech by one speaker;analogy – similarity, especially between things otherwise dissimilar.

loqu, locu

speak

 

Eloquent, loquacious, dialogue, elocution

luc

light

 

elucidate – to explain, to throw light on; lucid – easily understood, giving off light; translucent – allowing light through.

lud, lus

to play

 

prelude – introduction to the major performance;  illusion – misleading optical image or impression; delude – to mislead, deceive.

lumin

light

 

illuminate – to fill with light; lumen – unit measuring light.

lun/a/i

moon

 

lunar – relating to the moon; lunarscape – the surface of the moon; lunatic – insane (as if driven mad by the moon).

macro

large, great

 

macroevolution – large scale evolution; macromolecule – a large molecule; macroeconomics – study of the overall forces of economy.

magn/a/i

great, large

 

magnify – make larger; magnificent – grand; magnate – a powerful person, especially in business or industry.

mal/e

bad, ill, wrong

 

malcontent – wrong content; malaria – "bad air", infectious disease thought to originate from the "bad air" of the swamps, but caused by the bite of an infected mosquito; malicious – showing strong ill will.

man/i/u

hand

 

maneuver – to move by hand; manual – done with the hands; manuscript – a book written by hand.

mand

to order

 

command – an order or instruction; demand – a hard-to-ignore order; mandate – an official order.

mania

madness, insanity,
excessive desire

 

bibliomania – a crazy love of books; egomania – a mad love of oneself; maniac an insane person.

mar/i

sea

 

marina – a harbor for pleasure boats; maritime – relating to the sea; submarine – an undersea boat; aquamarine – blue-green in color, like sea water.

mater,
matr/i

mother

 

maternal – relating to motherhood; maternity – the state of being a mother; matriarch – a woman head of a household.

max

greatest

 

maximal – the best or greatest possible; maximize – to make as great as possible; maximum – the greatest amount.

medi

middle

 

medieval – pertaining to the Middle Ages; medium – in the middle; mediocre – only of medium (inferior) quality.

mega

great, large, million

 

megalopolis – an area with many nearby cities; megaphone – a device that projects a loud voice; megastructure – huge building or other structure.

melan/o

black

 

melancholy – a state of dark emotions; melanoma – malignant dark tumor of the skin; melodrama – a dark, pathetic drama.

memor/i

remember

 

commemorate – to honor the memory of, as by a ceremony; memorial – related to remembering a person or event; memory: an ability    to  retain knowledge or an individual’s stock of retained knowledge.  

merge,
mers

dip, dive

 

immerge or immerse – to put or dip something into a liquid; submerge to dip something completely into wate.r

meso

middle

 

Mesoamerica – Middle America;  meson – elementary particle with a mass between an electron and a proton.

meta

change, after, beyond, between

 

metaphysics – study of nature and reality; metamorphosis – a complete change of form; metastasis – the transmission of disease to other parts of the body.

meter,
metr/y

measure

 

audiometer- an instrument that measures hearing acuteness; chronometer- an instrument that measures time; metric – measured.

micro

very small, short, minute

 

microbe – a very small living thing; microchip – a tiny wafer with an integrated circuit; microscope – a device to see very small things.

mid

middle

 

midriff – the area between the chest and the waist; midterm – middle of a term in school; midway – halfway between.

migr

move

 

immigrant – a person who moves to a new country to settle; migrant – person who moves from place to place; migration – the process of moving.

milli

onethousandth

 

millimeter – one thousandth of a meter; millibar – one thousandth of a bar; milliliter – one thousandth of a liter.

min/i

small, less

 

mini – something that is very small; minuscule – extremely tiny; minutiae – very small or trivial details.

mis/o

bad, badly, wrong, wrongly,
to hate

 

misbehave – to behave badly; misprint – an error in printing; misnomer – an error in naming a person or thing.

miss, mit

send, let go

 

dismiss – to send someone away; missile – a weapon sent into the air; emit – to send something out; admittance – entry.

mob

move

 

immobilize – to stop from moving; mobile – able to move freely; mobility – the quality of being able to move.

mon/o

one, single, alone

 

monochromat – having one color; monologue – a speech spoken by one person; monotheism – belief in one god.

mot, mov

move

 

motion – the act of moving; motivate – to move someone to action; promote to move someone forward; removable – able to be taken or carried away.

morph/o

form

 

metamorphosis – complete change of form; endorphins – chemical in the brain able to transform pain; amorphous – without distinct shape or form.

mort

death

 

immortal – living forever, unable to die; mortal – certain to die; mortician – an undertaker.

multi

many, more than one or two

 

multicolored – having many colors; multimedia – using a range of media; multitasking – doing many things at once.

mut

change

 

immutable – not changing; mutant – an organism that has undergone change; mutate – to undergo a change.

my/o

muscle

 

myocardium – the middle muscle of the heart; myasthenia – muscle fatigue or weakness; myosin – common protein in muscle tissue.

narr

tell

 

narrate – to tell a story; narrative – a story; narrator – a person who tells a story.

nat

born

 

innate – included since birth; natal – relating to birth; natural – gotten at birth, not afterward.

nav

ship

 

circumnavigate – to sail around a place; naval – relating to a navy or warships; navigate – to sail a ship through a place.

necr/o

dead, death

 

necrophil – loving death; necrosis – the death of tissue due to disease or injury; necrology – a list of persons who have recently died.

neg

no

 

negate – to say it didn’t happen; negative – meaning "no"; renege – to go back on a promise.

neo

new, recent

 

neoclassic – a revival of classic form, neocolonialism – the indirect ("new") economical and political control of a region by a more powerful foreign power; neonatal – a newborn child, especially the first few weeks.

nephr/o

kidney

 

nephritis – inflammation of the kidneys; nephrotomy – surgical incision of a kidney; nephron – a single, excretory unit in the kidney.

neur/o

nerve

 

neuralgia – pain along a nerve; neurologist – doctor specializing in the nerves; neurotic –  mental disorder that usually does not include an impaired perception of reality.

nom/in

name

 

misnomer – an error in naming a person or thing; nominal – being something in name only but not in reality; nominate – to name for election or appointment, to designate.

non

no, not, without

 

nondescript – with no special characteristics; nonfiction – true, real, not made-up; nonsense – without sense.

not

mark

 

notable – marked as worthy of attention; notarize – to certify a signature on a legal document; annotate – to add remarks.

noun,
nunc

declare

 

announce – to declare in public; denounce – to proclaim harsh criticism; enunciate – to speak or declare something clearly.

nov

new

 

innovate – to introduce a new way; novelty – something new; novice – a person who is new at a job; renovate – to make something like new again.

numer

number

 

enumerate – to name a number of items on a list; numerology – the study of magical uses of numbers; numerous – a large number.

ob, op

in the way, against

 

object – to be against something; obscure – hard to understand; opposition – the act of resistance or action against.

oct/a/o

eight

 

octagon – a figure with 8 sides and 8 angles; octogenarian – person in his or her 80s; octopus – sea animal with 8 arms.

ocu

eye

 

binoculars – lens device for seeing distances; monocula – relating to one eye; oculist – an eye doctor.

omni

all

 

omnipotent – with all the power; omniscient – knowing all things; omnivorous eating all foods.

op/t/s

eye, visual condition, sight

 

optic – relating to the eyes; optician – a person who fits eyeglasses; autopsy – the examination of a dead body.

opt

best

 

optimal – the best, the most desirable; optimize – to make the best of; optimum – the best something could be.

ortho

straight

 

orthodontist – a dentist that straightens teeth; orthopedic – a doctor concerned with the proper alignment of the bones; orthography – the correct way of writing.

osteo

bone

 

osteoarthritis – inflammation caused by degeneration of the joints; osteopathy – therapy that uses among others manipulation of the skeleton to restore health; osteology – the study of bones.

out

goes beyond,
surpasses, exceeds

 

Outgoing – being of lively, sharing nature; outdoing – doing better than; outdoor – outside.

over

excessive

 

overconfident – more confident than is appropriate; overstock – more supplies than is desirable; overexcited – ,more excited than one should be.

oxy

sharp

 

oxymoron – combining two ideas that sharply contradict each other; oxydize – corrode a surface.

Written by The UnNovelist
The Unnovelist