Learn more with dummies

Enter your email to join our mailing list for FREE content right to your inbox. Easy!

By Beverley Henderson, Jennifer Lee Dorsey

Part of Medical Terminology For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The root of a word is its main part and core meaning. These common medical root words give you a general idea of what you’re dealing with or specify a body part.

  • Abdomin/o: Abdomen

  • Aden/o: Gland

  • Anter/o: Front

  • Arteri/o: Artery

  • Audi/o: Hearing

  • Bio: Life

  • Brachi/o: Arm

  • Bronch/i, bronch/o: Bronchus

  • Carcin/o: Cancer

  • Cardi/o: Heart

  • Col/o: Colon

  • Cyt/o: Cell

  • Derm/a, derm/o, dermat/o: Skin

  • Dors/i, dors/o: Back or posterior

  • Encephal/o: Brain

  • Gastr/o: Stomach

  • Gynec/o: Female

  • Hemat/o: Bl ood

  • Hist/o, histi/o: Tissue

  • Intestin/o: Intestine

  • Lapar/o: Abdomen, loin or flank

  • Lymph/o: Lymph vessels

  • My/o: Muscle

  • Neur/o: Nerve

  • Ocul/o: Eye

  • Ophthalm/o: Eyes

  • Optic/o, opt/o: Seeing, sight

  • Or/o: Mouth

  • Ot/o: Ear

  • Path/o: Disease

  • Pharmac/o: Drug

  • Pulmon/o: Lungs

  • Sept/o: Infection

  • Thorac/o: Chest/thorax

  • Thyr/o: Thyroid gland

  • Trachel/o: Neck or necklike

  • Trich/o: Hair or hairlike

  • Ventr/i, ventr/o: Front of body

  • Viscer/o: Viscera (internal organs)