The English language uses many Greek and Latin roots, stems, and prefixes . These roots are listed alphabetically on three pages:
Some of those used in medicine and medical technology are listed in the List of medical roots, suffixes and prefixes.
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 1.
A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another word. For example, when the prefix un- is added to the word happy, it creates the word unhappy. Particularly in the study of languages, a prefix is also called a preformative, because it alters the form of the words to which it is affixed.
Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period.
International scientific vocabulary (ISV) comprises scientific and specialized words whose language of origin may or may not be certain, but which are in current use in several modern languages. The name "International Scientific Vocabulary" was first used by Philip Gove in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1961). As noted by Crystal, science is an especially productive field for new coinages.
Micro- is a unit prefix in the metric system denoting a factor of 10−6. Confirmed in 1960, the prefix comes from the Greek μικρός, meaning "small".
In the metric system, a microgram or microgramme is a unit of mass equal to one millionth of a gram. The unit symbol is μg according to the International System of Units; the recommended symbol in the United States and United Kingdom when communicating medical information is mcg. In μg the prefix symbol for micro- is the Greek letter μ (Mu).
The Greek language has contributed to the English vocabulary in five main ways:
Meta is a prefix meaning more comprehensive or transcending.
English is a Germanic language, with a grammar and a core vocabulary inherited from Proto-Germanic. However, a significant portion of the English vocabulary comes from Romance and Latinate sources. A portion of these borrowings come directly from Latin, or through one of the Romance languages, particularly Anglo-Norman and French, but some also from Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish; or from other languages into Latin and then into English. The influence of Latin in English, therefore, is primarily lexical in nature, being confined mainly to words derived from Latin roots.
In linguistics, a stem is a part of a word used with slightly different meanings and would depend on the morphology of the language in question. In Athabaskan linguistics, for example, a verb stem is a root that cannot appear on its own, and that carries the tone of the word. Athabaskan verbs typically have two stems in this analysis, each preceded by prefixes.
Numeral or number prefixes are prefixes derived from numerals or occasionally other numbers. In English and other European languages, they are used to coin numerous series of words, such as:
unicycle – bicycle – tricycle, dyad – triad – decade, biped – quadruped, September – October – November – December, decimal – hexadecimal, sexagenarian – octogenarian, centipede – millipede, etc.
Classical compounds and neoclassical compounds are compound words composed from combining forms derived from classical Latin or ancient Greek roots. New Latin comprises many such words and is a substantial component of the technical and scientific lexicon of English and other languages, including international scientific vocabulary. For example, bio- combines with -graphy to form biography.
The prefix ped- in English and various other Western languages has multiple Latin and Ancient Greek roots, and multiple meanings. Ped- is a prefix in English and many other Western languages, often with divergent spellings, such as pet-, pie-, pei-, etc.).
Medical terminology is language used to precisely describe the human body including its components, processes, conditions affecting it, and procedures performed upon it. Medical terminology is used in the field of medicine.
English prefixes are affixes that are added before either simple roots or complex bases consisting of (a) a root and other affixes, (b) multiple roots, or (c) multiple roots and other affixes. Examples of these follow: