Root Words: Boost Your English Vocabulary With 45 Root Words

Root Words! The English language has its roots in languages like Greek and Latin. An understanding of the common root words will help us make educated guesses about the meaning of new words and substantially strengthen our vocabulary.

Given below is a list of commonly used root words, their meanings and some examples of words formed using these root words.

Geek Root Words

List of Greek root words with meanings and examples:

  • Ambi

Meaning: Both

Examples:

  • Ambidextrous – Use both hands well
  • Ambiguity – Double meaning, can be interpreted in more than one way

 

  • Aqua

Meaning: Water

Examples:

  • Aquarium – Artificial environment for water plants and animals
  • Aquatic – Plant or animal living in water

 

  • Art

Meaning: Skill

Examples:

  • Artistic – Natural skill in art
  • Artisan – Skilled manual work

 

  • Auto

Meaning: Self

Examples:

  • Automatic – Working by itself
  • Autonomous – Having self-government

 

  • Bi

Meaning: Two, Twice

Examples:

  • Biannual – Occurring twice in a year
  • Bigamy – Being married twice

 

  • Bio

Meaning: Life

Examples:

  • Biology – Study of living things
  • Biohazard – Risk to living things

 

  • Cardio

Meaning: Heart

Examples:

  • Cardiology – Branch of medicine dealing with the heart
  • Cardiovascular – Pertaining to the heart and blood vessels

 

  • Cent

Meaning: Hundred

Examples:

  • Centenary – Hundredth Anniversary
  • Centenarian – Person who is hundred or more years old

 

  • Cert

Meaning: Sure

Examples:

  • Certificate – Document attesting a fact like birth, death, graduation, marriage etc
  • Certitude – Feeling of certainty

 

  • Chrono

Meaning: Time

Examples:

  • Chronology – Study of events in the order of their occurrence
  • Chronograph – Instrument that records time with high accuracy

 

  • Counter

Meaning: Contrary

Examples:

  • Counter-intuitive – Contrary to intuition
  • Counter-productive – Having the opposite effect as intended

 

  • De

Meaning: Remove

Examples:

  • Detoxify – Remove the poisonous substances
  • Dethrone – Remove from the throne

 

  • Dem

Meaning: People

Examples:

  • Democracy – System of government elected by the people
  • Demography – Statistics of births, deaths, mortality etc. of people

 

  • Derm

Meaning: Skin

Examples:

  • Dermatologist – Doctor specialized in the study of skin disorders
  • Dermatitis – Inflammation of the skin

 

  • Flor

Meaning: Flower

Examples:

  • Florist – Person who sells flowers
  • Floral – Decorated with flowers

 

  • Gastro

Meaning: Stomach

Examples:

  • Gastritis – Inflammation of the stomach lining
  • Gastroenterologist – Doctor specialized in the study of stomach and intestinal disorders

 

  • Grat

Meaning: Pleasing

Examples:

  • Gratify – Delight or please someone
  • Gratuity – Tip, token of appreciation

 

  • Hepa

Meaning: Liver

Examples:

  • Hepatitis – Inflammation of the liver
  • Hepatic – Relating to the liver

 

  • Hept

Meaning: Seven

Examples:

  • Heptagon – Figure with seven sides
  • Heptathlon – Athletic event having seven events

 

  • Hex

Meaning: Six

Examples:

  • Hexagon – Figure with six sides
  • Hexavalent – Having a valency of six

 

  • Inter

Meaning: Between

Examples:

  • Interconnect – Connect with each other
  • Interdepend – Depend on each other

 

  • Iso

Meaning: Equal

Examples:

  • Isosceles – Triangle having two equal sides
  • Isobar – Line on map connecting points of equal barometer pressures

 

  • Jud

Meaning: Law

Examples:

  • Judiciary – Collective of judges
  • Judgement – Decision of a court

 

  • Kilo

Meaning: Thousand

Examples:

  • Kilogram – Thousand grams
  • Kilolitre – Thousand litres

 

  • Lacto

Meaning: Milk

Examples:

  • Lactic – Obtained from mil
  • Lactose – Sugar occurring in milk

 

  • Mal

Meaning: Bad

Examples:

  • Malevolent – Wishing bad things on others
  • Malice – Intention to do evil

 

  • Mort

Meaning: Death

Examples:

  • Mortuary – Place where dead bodies are kept until they are cremated or buried
  • Mortician – Undertaker

 

  • Narr

Meaning: Tell

Examples:

  • Narrate – To tell a story
  • Narrator – Person who tells a story.

 

  • Nov

Meaning: New

Examples:

  • Novelty – Newness or originality
  • Novice – Beginner

 

  • Oct

Meaning: Eight

Examples:

  • Octagon – Figure with eight sides
  • Octave – Stanza of eight lines

 

  • Ocu

Meaning: Eye

Examples:

  • Ocular – Connected with the eyes
  • Oculist – Specialist in the medical treatment of eye disorders

 

  • Omni

Meaning: All

Examples:

  • Omnipresent – Present everywhere at the same time
  • Omnivorous – Eating all kinds of foods

 

  • Ortho

Meaning: Straight

Examples:

  • Orthodontics – Dealing with straightening of teeth
  • Orthopaedics – Dealing with the straightening of bones

 

  • Pan

Meaning: All

Examples:

  • Panorama – An all-around view
  • Pandemic – Prevalent all over a country or world

 

  • Ped

Meaning: Foot

Examples:

  • Pedicure – Treatment of the feet
  • Pedal – Foot operated lever

 

  • Poly

Meaning: Many

Examples:

  • Polygon – Figure with many sides
  • Polygamy – Having more than one husband or wife at the same time

 

  • Psych

Meaning: Mind

Examples:

  • Psychiatry – Study of mental diseases
  • Psych – Prepare oneself mentally for a task

 

  • Quad

Meaning: Four

Examples:

  • Quadruple – Increase four times
  • Quadrangle – Figure having four sides

 

  • Quin

Meaning: Five

Examples:

  • Quintuple – Increase five times
  • Quintuplet – Five children born at the same time

 

  • Semi

Meaning: Half

Examples:

  • Semi-circle – Half of a circle
  • Semiaquatic – Animal living partly on land and partly in water

 

  • Sept

Meaning: Seven

Examples:

  • Septuplet – Seven children born at the same time
  • Septuagenarian – People aged before 70 and 79

 

  • Trans

Meaning: Across

Examples:

  • Transpacific – Across the Pacific Ocean
  • Transnational – Across national boundaries

 

  • Tri

Meaning: Three

Examples:

  • Triangle – Figure with three sides
  • Triathlon – Athletic event having three events

 

  • Uni

Meaning: One

Examples:

  • Unitarian – People who believes God is one person
  • Unique – One of a kind

 

  • Vince

Meaning: Conquer

Examples:

  • Invincible – One who cannot be conquered
  • Convince – Persuade a person

Learn more with a big list of suffixes and prefixes in English with examples.

Root Words List | Infographic

Root Words List | Infographic 1

Root Words: Boost Your English Vocabulary With 45 Root Words

Root Words List | Infographic 2

Root Words: Boost Your English Vocabulary With 45 Root Words

Root Words List | Infographic 3

Root Words: Boost Your English Vocabulary With 45 Root Words

Root Words: Boost Your English Vocabulary With 45 Root Words 1

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