Medword Resources

Combining Forms A – L

These combining forms usually appear at the beginning of terms, but they may certainly sometimes appear within or at the end of a term also. Use this handy table for reference.

Form Meaning
Adeno – gland
Adreno – adrenal gland
Angio – vessel
Ano – anus
Arterio – artery
Arthro – joint
Balano – glans penis
Blepharo – eyelid
Broncho – bronchus (windpipe)
Cantho – canthus (angle at either end of Slit between eyelids)
Capit – head
Cardi- or
cardio –
Carpo – wrist
Cephalo – head
Cerebello – cerebellurn (part of brain)
Cerebro – cerebrum (part of brain)
Cheilo – lip (mouth)
Chole – bile (Note: Chole plus cyst, meaning bladder, equals gallbladder;
chole plus doch, meaning duct, equals choledocho or common bile duct.)
Chondro – cartilage
Chordo – cord or string (usually used in connection with the vocal cord or spermatic cord)
Cilia – hair (Latin)
Cleido – collarbone
Coccygo – coccyx (end bone of the spinal column)
Colpo – vagina
Cordo – cord (usually vocal cord)
Coxa – hip (Latin)
Cranio – head
Cysto – sac, cyst, or bladder (most often used in connection with the urinary bladder)
Cyto – cell
Dacryo – tear (used commonly in relation to tear duct or sac)
Dento- or
donto –
Derma – skin
Duodeno – duodenum (part of small intestine)
Emia – blood
Encephalo – brain
Entero – intestines
Fascia – sheet or band of fibrous tissue (Latin)
Fibro – fibers
Gastro – stomach
Genu – knee (Latin)
Gingivo – gums
Glomerulo – glomerulus (often a structure of the kidney)
Glosso – tongue
Gnatho – jaw
Hallux – great toe (Latin)
Hem, hema,
hemo, hemato –
Hepato – liver
Hilus – pit or depression in an organ where vessels and nerves enter (Latin)
Histio – tissue
Hystero – uterus (Note: This term may also pertain to hysteria.)
Ileo – ileum (part of small intestine)
Ilio – flank or ilium (bone of the pelvis)
Jejuno – jejunum (part of small intestine)
Kerato – cornea or horny layer of the skin
Labio – lips (either of mouth or vulva)
Lacrimo – tears (used also in connection with tear ducts or sacs)
Laparo – loin or flank (also refers to abdomen)
Laryngo – larynx
Linguo – tongue
Lympho – lymph

Go To Combining Forms M – Z

The list below covers just a few areas of interest that are, in fact, the foundations for learning the language of medicine - medical terminology.

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