Medical Prefixes:How can a prefix change the meaning of a word?

Medical Prefixes

Looking for a Medical Terminology Quiz on Prefixes. Take on here: Medical Terminology Quiz Prefixes

A prefix is the term at the beginning of the word. It is placed before the root of the word.

EXAMPLE: Like suffixes, medical prefixes can alter or modify the meaning of a word. Let’s look at the terms BRADYCARDIA and TACHYCARDIA.

Bradycardia means slow heart rate. (Brady means slow. Cardia means heart.)

Tachycardia means fast heart rate. (Tachy means fast or rapid. Cardia means heart.)

Both terms used the root cardia, meaning heart. By changing the prefix attached to the root cardia, a new word was created with a new meaning.

Here is a list of Medical Terminology Prefixes:

a- without
ab-, abs- away from
ad- toward, to
ambi- both, around
an- without
ana- up, toward
ante- before
anti- against
apo- upon
auto-self
bi-twice, double
brachy-short
brady-slow
cata- down
circum-around
co-together
col-together
com-together
con- together
contra- against
cor-together
de- from, down from, lack of
di- two
dif- not, separated
dis- not, separated, to undo, free from
dir- not, separated
dia- through
dys-abnormal,difficult
ecto- outside, outer
epi-over
eso- inward
eu-well, good, normal
ex- outside, outward
exo- outside, outward
extra- outside of, beyond
hemi- half
hyper- above normal
hypo- below normal
in- in, into, not
infra- under, below
inter- between
intra- within
iso- equal, same
mal- bad
mega- large
meso- middle
meta-after
micro- microscopic, small
mono- single
multi-many
oligo-few, scanty
pan- all, entire
para- beside, abnormal, involving two parts
per- through, intensely
peri- around
pluri- several, more
poly- many
post- after, following
pre-before
pro- before, forward
quadra- four
re- back
retro- back, behind
semi- half
sub- under, inferior, less than
super- above, superior, more than
supra- above, over
sym- together
syn- together
sys- together
tachy- fast
tetra- four
trans- across, through
tri- three
ultra- beyond, excess
un- not
uni- one

Read Next: What is a suffix? 

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