Objectives

After study of this chapter you should be able to:

1. Define a suffix.

2. Give examples of how suffixes are used.

3. Recognize and use some general noun, adjective, and plural suffixes used in medical terminology.

4. Analyze the suffixes used in a case study.

A suffix is a word ending that modifies a root. A suffix may indicate that the word is a noun or an adjective and often determines how the definition of the word will begin. For example, using the root myel/o, meaning "bone marrow," the adjective ending -oid forms the word myeloid, which means "like or pertaining to bone marrow." The ending -oma produces myeloma, which is a tumor of the bone marrow. Adding another root, gen, which represents genesis or origin, and the adjective ending -ous forms the word myelogenous, meaning "originating in bone marrow."

The suffixes given in this chapter are general ones that are used throughout medical terminology. Additional suffixes will be presented in later chapters, as they pertain to disease states, medical treatment, or specific body systems.

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