Prefixes of Medical Terms

The root words of medical terminology explain the what. They define which body part we’re referring to. Prefixes are similar to adjectives and prepositions. They explain howwhywherehow manyin which positionin which direction, or in which state or condition.

Most prefixes will already seem familiar to you. Concentrate on the ones that you don’t already know.

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Medical Terminology – Prefixes
A- or An- none, without, or lack of
Ab- away from or take away
Ad- near or toward
Ambi- both
Ambo- both
Amphi- double or both
Ana- apart or up
Ante- before, forward, or in front of
Anti- against or the opposite
Ap- or Apo- separated or divided
Aut- or Auto- by itself or yourself
Bi- two, double, or both
Brachy- short
Brady- slow
Cata- lower or down
Circum- around
Co-, Com-, or Con- together or with
Contra- against
De- down or from
Di- twice or two
Dia- across, through, between, or across
Dis- apart from
Dys- bad, painful, or difficult
E-, or Ec- from, away from, or out of
Ect- or Ecto- outside or outer
Em- in
En- in
End- or Endo- within or inner
Ent- or Ento- outside or outer
Ep- or Epi- upon, on, or over
Eu- normal
Ex- from, away from, or out of
Exo- outside or outer
Extra- or Extro- outside of, beyond, or outward
Hemi- Half of
Hyper- excessive, above, or beyond
Hyp- or Hypo- beneath, below, or deficient
Im- or In- in, into, or within
Infra- beneath or below
Inter- between
Intra- inside or within
Intro- within or into
Macro- large
Mal- bad
Mega- or Megaly enlarged
Mes- or Meso- middle
Meta- changing or beyond
Micr- or Micro- small or tiny
Mono- one
Mult- or Multi- multiple or many
Neo- recent or new
Oligo- insufficient or lacking
Pan- all
Para- beside, beyond, or after
Per- through
Peri- around
Poly- many or excessive
Post- Following, after, or behind
Pre- or Pro- before, preceding, or in front of
Presby- old
Pseudo- false
Quad-, Quadri, or Quadro- four
Re- again or backward
Retro- backward or behind
Semi- half of
Sub- beneath or under
Super- or Supra- excessive, superior, or above
Sym- or Syn- together or with
Tachy- fast or rapid
Trans- across or through
Tri- three
Ultra- excessive or beyond
Uni- one


We’ve included a free printable version of the above list. Click here for our printable list of Prefixes of Medical Terms. Once the list opens you will be able to print it.

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