A root word is a word or a part of a word that forms new words with the addition of prefixes and suffixes to it. A root word has its own meaning and we can't break down it any further. Generally, we take root words from Greek, Latin and English languages. With the help of root words, we can understand and memorize the words that are related to a particular root word, so that we can improve our vocabulary skills. Having knowledge of prefixes and suffixes also helps us in improving our verbal skills. A prefix is added at the beginning of a word to change the meaning of the word. A suffix is added at the end of a word to change the meaning of word. Here are some examples of root words, prefixes and suffixes.
Anthro means human
e.g.: Anthropology – Study of humans. Anthropoid – Animal resembling a human. Misanthrope – A person who dislikes human.
Bene means good
e.g.: Benefit – Profit gained from something.Benefactor – A person who help others.
Cide means kill
b Genocide – Killing of a large number of people. Suicide – Killing of one’s self. Insecticide – Substance used for killing insects.
Dur means hard
e.g.: Durable – Able to withstand damages. Endure – Facing difficulties patiently.
Equi means equal
e.g.: Inequal – Not equal. Equilibrium – A state of physical balance. Equity – The quality of being fair and impartial.
Flex means bend
e.g.: Flexible – Capable of bending easily. Reflex – Bent or turned backwards.
Geo means earth
e.g.: Geography – Study of physical features of the earth Geology – Study of structure of the earth. Perigee – The orbit nearest to the earth.
Hetero means different
e.g.: Heterogeneous – Different in character or content. Heterosexual – Attraction between opposite sexes.
Lith means stone
e.g.: Lithography – Printing process using a flat stone. Monolith – A single stone made into a monument. Neolithic – Related to stone age.
Junc means join, connect
e.g.: Junction – A point where two or more things join. Adjunct – A thing added to something additionally.
ful means full of, tend to, as much as
e.g.: Beautiful – Full of beauty. Harmful – Tend to do harm. Spoonful – As much as to fill in a spoon.
ism means a distinctive ideology, practice, system
e.g.: Darwinism – Principles of Darwin’s theory. Jainism – Practice of Jain religion. Socialism - A political and economic theory of social organisation regulated by a community.
logy means field of study
e.g.: Biology – Study of living things. Astrology – Study of stars. Musicology – Study of music.
-ion, -tion, -ation
ion means denoting an action; tion means express an action; ation means state of something.
e.g.: Union – The act of uniting. Revolution – A sudden change. Separation – State of being separate.
-ous, -eous, -ious
ous means contain, possess; eous means composed of; ious means full of
e.g.: Poisonous – Contains poison. Igneous – (rocks) formed by intensive heating. Delicious – Full of taste.
Dys means Ill, bad, not good
e.g.: Dysfunction – Not operating properly. Dyslexia – Not good in learning words. Dysphoria – A state of restlessness or unwell.
F Inter means between, among
e.g.: Intercity – Between or among cities. Interatomic- Between atoms.
Mis means wrongly, incorrectly
e.g.: Mistake – Taking something incorrectly. Misfire – Fail to fire properly. Misprint – Printing of something incorrectly.
Pre means before, infront of
e.g.: Predict – Say in advance. Preface – Something written in front of a book.
Trans means transportation, complete change
e.g.: Transfer – Move one place to another. Transplant – Removing a plant from one place and plant it in another place. Transform- Change into another substance.
F Acro means high, tip
e.g.: Acrobat, Acronym, Acrophobia
Act means to move, to do
e.g.: Action, Exact, Transact
Ambi means both
e.g.: Ambidextrous, Ambivalence, Ambiance
F Ambig means doubtful
e.g.: Ambiguous, Disambiguate
Anim means life, spirit
e.g.: Animal, Animate, Equanimity
Anthro means man
e.g.: Anthropoid, Anthropology, Misanthrope
Anti means opposite
e.g.: Antisocial, Antidote, Antioxidant
Aqua means water
e.g.: Aquatic, Aqueduct, Aquifer
Arbor means tree
e.g.: Arboraceous, Arboriculture, Arborist
Astro means star, heavenly body
e.g.: Asteroid, Astronomy, Disaster
Audi means hear
e.g.: Audio, Audience, Audible
Auto means self
e.g.: Autograph, Autonomous, Autopsy
F Baro means weight, pressure
e.g.: Barometer, Baron, Barotrauma
Belli means war
e.g.: Belligerence, Cobelligerent
F Bene means good, well
e.g.: Benefactor, Benefit, Benevolent
Biblio means book
e.g.: Bible, Bibliographer, Bibliography
Bio meams life
e.g.: Biodegradable, Biology, Biosphere
F Calor means heat
e.g.: Calorie, Calorific, Calorimeter
Cardio means heart
e.g.: Cardiograph, Cardiolipin, Cardiology
F Carn means flesh
e.g.: Carnivore, Carnage, Carnation
Cede means give, yield
e.g.: Concede, Precede, Recede
Cent means one hundred
e.g.: Centennial, Centigrade,Centimetre
F Cert means sure
e.g.: Certain, Certify, Ascertain
Chron means time
e.g.: Chronicle, Chronology, Synchronize
Cide means act of killing
e.g.: Suicide, Infanticide, Matricide
Cious means to do something
e.g.: Ferocious, Avaricious, Pugnacious
Cline means lean
e.g.: Incline, Decline, Recline
Circum means around
e.g.: Circumcise, Circumference, Circumlocution
Contra means against
e.g.: Contraband, Contraception, Contradict
Corp means body
e.g.: Corporation, Corps, Corpse
Counter means opposite
e.g.: Counterattack, Counter clockwise, Encounter
Cracy means rule
e.g.: Autocracy, Bureaucracy, Democracy
F Cranio means skull
e.g.: Cranium, Cranial, Craniology
Cred means believe
e.g.: Credential, Credible, Credit
Crypto means hidden
e.g.: Cryptobiosis, Cryptocurrency, Cryptography