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Humanities Libertexts

9.2: §139. Standard Medical Suffixes (all Greek)

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  • The following will often be attached by the combining vowel -o-, as in rhin-o-plasty.

    -ist -istēs (-ἰστης) (creates agent noun; L -ista)
    itis inflamed condition
    ōsis abnormal condition
    ōma morbid affection (a growth, L tumor)
    -iasis disease, abnormal condition
    -tomy -tomia cutting; cf. L incision– (caedere, caesus)
    -ectomy -ektomia cutting out; cf. L excision-
    -stomy stom(at)- mouth, opening; cf. L. or-i-ficium > E orifice
    -plasty plass-/plast- shaping, moulding
    -rrh(o)ea rhe- (-rhoia) flow, discharge (e.g., διαῤῥοια)
    -rrhagia rhag-/rheg- rapid discharge
    -rrhexis rhag-/rheg- bursting; cf. L ruptura (rupture)
    -rrhaphy rhapt-/rhaph-[1] stitching; cf. L sutura (suture)

    1. This is the root that appears in rhapsode (an ancient Greek “song-stitcher”) and rhapsody. ↵
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