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List of Commonly Used Greek Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

List of Commonly Used Greek Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes
Greek is one of the languages that has influenced English. Getting familiar with the common roots and affixes will be a big plus for your vocabulary, aiding you to guess unknown words! Penlighten keeps you informed about some commonly used Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
Raksha Kulkarni
Last Updated: Jun 2, 2018
Did You Know?
The variations in the Greek vocabulary have immensely shaped and added to the modern English language. The first language that used phonetics and vowels was English Greek.
When new words in a language have a foreign origin, it is because they are borrowed from the foreign language. The western civilization, who speak English, are greatly influenced by the Greek language. These days, Greek alphabets are commonly used to represent concepts of mathematics and science. Not just that, the suffixes and prefixes to different English words are also shaped by the Greek language. Further, we shall shed light on English words whose suffixes and prefixes have a Greek origin.
Roots In English English Examples
-auto- self autograph, autobiography
-anthropo- human philanthropy, anthropologist
-arthr- joint arthritis, arthropod
-bio- life biology, biography
-bibl- book bible, bibliography
-chron- time chronic, chronology
-cosm- universe cosmos, cosmopolitan
-dyna- power dynamite, dynamic
-derm- skin dermatologist, endoderm
-ethn- nation, race ethnic, ethnarch
-gam- marriage monogamy, gamete
-geo- earth biogeography, geometry
-graph- write, draw graphology, photography
-gyn- woman gynecologist, epigynous
-hydr- water dehydrate, hydrolysis
-hyper- over hyperactive, hyperbole
-lith- stone lithosphere, Neolithic
-log-/-logy- speech, reason apology, dialog
-metr-/-meter- measure symmetric, diameter
-mim- repeat mime, pantomime
-morph- form anamorphic, morphology
-path- feeling sympathy, apathy
-phil- love philosophy, hydrophile
-phob- fear phobia, claustrophobia
-phos-, -phot- light phosphorus, photogenic
-pseud- false pseudonym, pseudoscience
-psych- mind psychology, psyche
-scop- observe telescope, horoscope
-soph- wise sophisticate, philosophy
-techn- art, skill technician, technology
-tele- far telepathy, telegram
-theor- speculation theorem, theory
-zo- living being zoology, protozoa
-zym- ferment enzyme, lysozyme
Roots In English English Examples
acr- height acrobatics, acrophobia
aero- air aeronautics
amph- both amphibian, amphitheater
anti- against antibiotic
archae- ancient archaeology
auto- self autonomy, automatic
di- double diode, dipole
dys- ill dysentery, dyslexia
ecto- outside ectoderm
epi- upon epidemic, epiphany
hemi- half hemisphere, hemicycle
heter- different heterosexual, heterogeneous
hex- six hexode, hexagon
homo- same homogeneous, homonym
iso- equal isometric, isotropic
kilo- thousand kilometer, kilogram
leuc- , leuk- white leukocyte, leucoderma
macro- long macroeconomics, macrobiotic
micro- small micrometer, microscope
myth- story mythology, mythos
neo- new neophyte, Neolithic
oct- eight octagon, octopus
poly- many polygon, polygamy
syn-, sym-, syl- with symbol, syllable, synthesis
Roots In English English Examples
-cracy, -crat authority democracy, bureaucracy
-ic like something acidic, antiseptic
-ism condition feminism, racism
-logy reason, speech analogy, trilogy
-y tells characteristic grumpy, foggy