Studying Anatomy and Physiology? Learn Latin!

Published on 5th February 2021


Part Two

Following on from our blog last week about the benefits of learning basic Latin prefixes when studying anatomical terms for your anatomy and physiology course, here is a look at the common prefixes used to indicate particular body parts. You’ll be amazed how much Latin you actually know:

Bio-                 life

                        eg. Biopsy - examination of a tissue sample taken from a living body

Broncho-        windpipe

                        Eg. Bronchitis - inflammation of the bronchus

Cardi/o-          heart

                        Eg. Cardiogram - recording of the electrical activity of the heart

Cyto-              cell

                        Eg. Cytoplasm - gelatinous liquid within a cell

Derma-           skin

                        Eg. Dermatitis - skin irritation

Entero-           intestine

                        Eg. Enteric tuberculosis - tuberculous infection of the digestive tract

Gastr-             stomach

                        Eg. Gastrectomy - excision of the stomach

Muscle Moniker - the Gastrocnemius muscle is so-named as it refers to the bulging shape of the calf, the ‘stomach’ of the leg!

Gynaeco-       female, relating to women

                        Eg. Gynaecology - branch of medicine relating to genitourinary diseases in                        women

Haema-, hema-        blood

                                    Eg. Haemoglobin - oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells

Hepat-            liver

                        Eg. Hepatic artery

Hydra-            water

                        Eg. Hydrogen - gas which forms water when combined with oxygen

Hyster-           uterus

                        Eg. Hysterectomy - excision of the uterus

Myo-               muscle

                        Eg. Myocardium - muscular wall of the heart

Muscle Moniker - Myo- is taken from the Latin, ‘musculus’, which means ‘little mouse’. Ostensibly there is a resemblance to some muscles!

Nephro-          kidney

                        Eg. Nephrolith - kidney stone

Neuro-            relating to nerves

                        Eg. Neuropathy - damage or dysfunction of nerves

Odont-            tooth

                        Eg. Odontectomy - removal of tooth

Osteo-            bone

                        Eg. Osteoarthritis - degenerative joint disease

Ot-                  ear

                        Eg. Otoscope - medical tool for examining the ear

Para-              near, alongside, apart from, abnormal

                        Eg. Parotid - beside the ear

Pod-                foot

                        Eg. Podiatrist - medical doctor specialising in treating feet

Pyo-                pus forming

                        Eg. Pyorrhea - discharge of pus

Pyr-                 inflammation, heat

                        Eg. Pyrexia - raised body temperature

Learning a little Latin is key to deepening your understanding of anatomical terms and will naturally sharpen your grasp of anatomy and physiology,  for your course and whatever complementary therapies are next on your list.


View all messages

Anatomy and physiology online courses - Free e-book
Free e-book

10 Top Study Tips to Help You Pass Your Anatomy and Physiology Exam

Anatomy and physiology online courses - free trial
Free Trial

No Commitment.
No hidden fees.
No credit card required.

Start Today


"I am not sure if I already thanked you for the course but would like to thank you again, I am also very relieved I passed the exam. It was kind of you to arrange everything and I found your course accessible, with knowledgeable, clear and professional content.


- Sheila Styles -

Newsletter Signup

Anatomy & physiology courses online - refund policy


ITEC Level 3 certificate in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
British Register of Complementary Practitioners
Association Systematic Kinesiology
BowenTraining UK

Get in Touch

GM Tree Training Ltd
5 Clumber Drive
Somerset BA11 2LG
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)7392 745790

Contact us

Secure transactions

Powered by WordPay

Mastercard Visa American Express Maestro JCB

This website uses cookies in order to help provide the best experience for our users. Find out more.

OK, I'm good with that