Common Word Roots

Root

Meaning

Example

Definition

agri

field

agronomy

field-crop production and soil management

anthropo

man

anthropology

the study of man

astro

star

astronaut

one who travels in interplanetary space

bio

life

biology

the study of life

cardio

heart

cardiac

pertaining to the heart

cede

go

precede

to go before

chromo

color

chromatology

the science of colors

demos

people

democracy

government by the people

derma

skin

epidermis

the outer layer of skin

dyna

power

dynamic

characterized by power and energy

geo

earth

geology

the study of the earth

helio

sun

heliotrope

any plant that turns toward the sun

hydro

water

hydroponics

growing of plants in water reinforced with nutrients

hypno

sleep

hypnosis

a state of sleep induced by suggestion

ject

throw

eject

to throw out

magni

great, big

magnify

to enlarge, to make bigger

man(u)

hand

manuscript

written by hand

mono

one

monoplane

airplane with one wing

ortho

straight

orthodox

right, true, straight opinion

pod

foot

pseudopod

false foot

psycho

mind

psychology

study of the mind in any of its aspects

pyro

fire

pyrometer

an instrument for measuring temperatures

script

write

manuscript

hand written

terra

earth

terrace

a raised platform of earth

thermo

heat

thermometer

instrument for measuring heat

zoo

animal

zoology

the study of animals

Common Prefixes

ante-

before

antebellum

before the war

anti-

against

antifreeze

liquid used to guard against freezing

auto-

self

automatic

self-acting or self-regulating

bene-

good

benefit

an act of kindness; a gift

circum-

around

circumscribe

to draw a line around; to encircle

contra-

against

contradict

to speak against

de-

reverse, remove

defoliate

remove the leaves from a tree

dis-

apart

dislocate

to unlodge

dys-

bad

dysfunctional

not functioning

ecto-

outside

ectoparasite

parasite living on the exterior of animals

endo-

within

endogamy

marriage within the tribe

ex-

out

excavate

to dig out

equi-

equal

equidistant

equal distance

extra-

beyond

extraterrestrial

beyond the earth

hyper-

over

hypertension

high blood pressure

hypo-

under

hypotension

low blood pressure

in-

in

interim

in between

inter-

between

intervene

come between

intra-

within

intramural

within bounds of a school

intro-

in, into

introspect

to look within, as one's own mind

macro-

large

macroscopic

large enough to be observed by the naked eye

mal-

bad

maladjusted

badly adjusted

micro-

small

microscopic

so small that one needs a microscope to observe

multi-

many

multimillionaire

one having two or more million dollars

neo-

new

neolithic

new stone age

non-

not

nonconformist

one who does not conform

pan-

all

pantheon

a temple dedicated to all gods

poly-

many

polygonal

having many sides

post-

after

postgraduate

after graduating

pre-

before

precede

to go before

pro-

for

proponent

a supporter

proto-

first

prototype

first or original model

pseudo-

false

pseudonym

false name; esp., an author's pen-name

re-, red-

back again

rejuvenate

to make young

re-, red-

together

reconnect

to put together again

retro-

backward

retrospect

a looking back on things

semi-

half

semicircle

half a circle

sub-

under

submerge

to put under water

super-

above

superfine

extra fine

tele-

far

telescope

seeing or viewing afar

trans-

across

transalpine

across the Alps

Number prefixes

uni- one

tetra- four

oct- eight

mono- one

quint- five

nov- nine

bi- two

pent- five

dec- ten

duo- two

sex- six

lat- side

di- two

hex- six

ped- foot

tri- three

sept- seven

pod- foot

quad- four

hept- seven

 

Math & Science Affixes and Roots

Root or Affix

Example

aqua (water)

aquarium

hydro (water)

hydroplane

hemi (half)

hemisphere

semi (half)

semicircle

equi (equal)

equivalent

tele (far off)

telescope

micro (small)

microfilm

onomy (science of)

astronomy

ology (study of)

geology

uni (one)

universe

bi (two)

bicycle

tri (three)

triangle

octa (eight)

octagon

dec (ten)

decade

centi (hundred)

centimeter

milli (thousand)

millimeter

bio (life)

biology

astro (star)

astronaut

thermo (heat)

thermodynamic

meter (measure)

diameter

ped (foot)

pedestrian

pod (foot)

tripod

Prefixes that mean "no": a- de- dis-, in- non- un-, contra

Examples: disqualify, nondescript, unscrupulous, contradict, inadvertent

Prefix

Meaning

Examples

a-, an-

without, not

asexual, atypical, amoral, anarchy

de-

reverse action, away

defrost, demystify, desensitize, deduct

dis-, dif-, di-

not, apart

dissatisfied, disorganized, different, divert

in-, il-, it-, im-

not

inappropriate, invisible, illegal, impossible

non-

not

nonproductive, nonessential, nonsense

un-

not

unlikely, unnoticeable, unreliable

contra-, counter-

against

contrary, contradict, counterproductive

Prefixes that indicate "when," "where," or "more": pre-, post-, ante-, inter-, infra-, traps-, sub-, circum-, ultra­

Examples: premature, postscript, anteroom, intervene, transformation

Prefix

Meaning

Examples

pre-, pro-

before

pre-dinner,  preliminary,  previous,  prologue

post-

after

postwar,  postoperative,  postpone

ante-

before

antecedent,  antechamber

inter-

between, among

interstate,  intercept,  interfere

intra-

within

intramural,  intrastate,  intravenous

trans-

across

transcontinental,  transparent,  transaction

sub-

under

submarine,  submerge,  subjugate

circum-

around

circumnavigate,  circumference

ultra-

beyond, on the far side of, excessive

ultrasonic,  ultraviolet,  ultraconservative