Share quotes from famous books or tips for budding writers.

List of Commonly Used Latin Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

List of Commonly Used Latin Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes
Most of the words we use today are derived from Latin. So, why not understand how certain English words came about? Penlighten gives you information on the most commonly used roots, prefixes, and suffixes, and also chooses to give you their meanings for a better understanding. Have a read!
Raksha Kulkarni
Last Updated: Jun 2, 2018
Long Live Latin!
Latin has given birth to many languages. The commonly used English words are mostly taken from Latin, almost 60% of the words. The use is made in all vast topics such as science, law, medicine, etc. Almost 80% of the scholarly English words are taken from Latin. Also, Latin is frequently used to write State or university mottos.
English is a language that draws its influence from so many languages with Latin being one of the most important contributors, as we said above. There is a deep, rich history explaining how it has influenced English. It all started in between the 6th and 7th century when the Christian missionaries got Latin religious terms to Britain. Also, Catholic monks wrote sacred text copies in Latin. Eventually, what happened was that, whenever they didn't get a word in Old English, they would substitute it by Latin words. Such was the role of Latin in developing the foundation of the English language. Also, the influence of Latin, so to say, is lexical in nature, meaning most of the words are coined from Latin roots.
Elucidated below is a list of Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes that are very often put to use; words that we often use in our day-to-day conversations but probably aren't aware of how they all originated and what do they mean. The following sections will help you in understanding the English language better.
Roots In English English Examples
-dict- to say predict, contradict, dictate
-duc- take, bring, lead produce, reduce, deduce
-gress- to walk progress, digress
-ject- to throw inject, subject, project
-pel- to drive compel, impel, dispel
-pend- to hang depend, pendulum, pendant
-port- to carry support, export, report
-scrib-/-script- to write describe, transcription, prescribe
-tract- to drag/pull attract, extract, retract
-vert- to turn convert, divert, invert
-ambi- both ambiguous, ambidextrous
-aqua- water aquamarine, aquarium
-aud- to hear audience, audible, audition
-bane- good beneficial, benefactor
-cent- hundred percent, century
-duct- to lead induce, conduct
-fac- make manufacture, factory
-form- shape reform, conform
-fort- strength fortitude, fortress
-fract- break fraction, fracture
-jud- judge judiciary, prejudice
-mal- bad malfunction, malevolent
-mater- mother maternal, material
-mit- to send transmit, admit
-mort- death mortal, post-mortem
-multi- many multiple,multimedia
-rupt- break ruption, disruption
-sent- feel/send consent, resent
-spect- to look inspection, spectator
-struct- to build construct, destruction
-voc- voice advocate, vocal
Roots In English English Examples
co- together coedit, coauthor
de- removal/reverse deactivate, decompress, defrost
dis- not/opposite disbelief, disrespect, discomfort
inter- between interjection, international, intertwine
non- not nonstop, nonviolence, nonsense
post- after postdate, postwar
pre- before premeditate, prepay
re- again, back remake, rewrite, rearrange
sub- under subway, substandard
trans- beyond transatlantic, transpolar
anti- against anti-clock, anticlimax
de- opposite decomposition, deforestation, devalue
-in/-im/-ir/-il not irrelevant, impossible, illiterate
mis- wrong misunderstand, misspell
over- excess overeat, overweight
semi- partly semifinal, semicorrect
super- beyond superhuman, superpowers
un- opposite unusual
under- less underestimate, understand
migr- wander migratory, immigrant
uni- one unify, unity
extra- beyond extraordinary
Roots In English English Examples
-able/-ible forms adjectives affordable, sensible
-ation forms nouns from verbs creation, information, automation
-fy/-ify forms verbs purify, acidify
-ment forms nouns from verbs entertainment, statement
-ty/ity forms nouns from adjectives certainty, similarity
-al, -ial characteristics facial, universal
-ed past tense, adjectives learned, talked