Adjective Suffixes

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The suffixes below are all adjective endings that mean "pertaining to" or "resembling" (Table 2-3). There are no rules for which ending to use for a given noun. Familiarity comes with practice. When necessary, tips on proper usage are given in the text.


Suffixes That Mean

"Pertaining to" or "Resembling"





cardiac CAR-de-ak

pertaining to the heart


skeletal SKEL-e-tal

pertaining to the skeleton


muscular MUS-ku-lar

pertaining to muscles


dietary di-e-tar-e

pertaining to the diet


muciform MU-si-form

like or resembling mucus


metric ME-trik

pertaining to a meter (unit of measurement) (Fig. 2-3)

-ical (ic + al)

anatomical an-a-TOM-i-kl

pertaining to anatomy


febrile FEB-ril

pertaining to fever


toxoid TOK-soyd

resembling toxin (poison)


respiratory_ RES-pi-ra-tor-e

pertaining to respiration


ve_nous VE-nus

pertaining to a vein

*For words ending with the suffix -sis, the first s in the ending is changed to t before adding -ic to form the adjective, as in psychotic, pertaining to psychosis (a mental disorder), or diuretic, pertaining to diuresis (increased urination).

Suffix Ory

FIGURE 2-3. The metric system is used for all scientific and clinical measurements. (Reprinted with permission from Taylor C, Lillis C, LeMone P. Fundamentals of Nursing: The Art and Science of Nursing Care. 4th Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2001.)

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  • Kevin
    Is ia an adjective suffix in medical terminology?
    8 years ago
  • julian
    Which suffix is an adjective ending med terminology?
    8 years ago
  • Paciano
    What are the suffix for pertaining to ,like or resembling words?
    7 years ago
  • tim fruehauf
    What are the adjectives of medical terminology?
    7 years ago
  • alda
    What is adjective suffixes for al?
    7 years ago
  • leila
    How to change adjective suffex in medical terminology?
    1 year ago
  • niklas
    Can change a medical term to an adjective as well?
    6 months ago
  • jemima
    How does medical terminology suffixes fit in with PCS?
    5 months ago
  • Rudibert
    Which suffix below forms adjective meaning capable of medical?
    4 months ago
    Which of the following suffixes is NOT an adjective ending meaning "pertaining to"?
    4 months ago
  • libera maria
    What medical suffix mean pertaining to?
    2 months ago

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