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Why Prep?

Z-A Vocabulary

Building English Vocabulary Through Morphemes & Etymology


Hi, Reader!  Welcome!

It is my opinion that the best way to build one's vocabulary is by studying morphemes.  Of course, it is necessary to have a basic, proficient level of English before starting the study of English morphemes.

"What is a morpheme?" you ask?  Well, simply, it is the smallest part of a language that has meaning.  Many words can be divided up into smaller particles, each having meaning.  For example, look at the following word:

There are four morphemes in that word:

[>Greek] (1) En = (in) + (2) cyclo = (circle) + (3) ped = (child) + (4) ia (education)

"What is etymology?" you ask?

Well, etymology is the study of the "roots" or origins of words.  'Morphology', study of morphemes, is a huge part of etymology.

I have 2 Morpheme Pages;  See my OTHER "Morpheme Page"

(Add some morphemes: contact me)

...in reverse order.
(i.e., "A" is at the bottom.  "Z" is at the top.)

zoo~ or ~zoa   [of Greek origin, meaning: animal]


"zoo" = short form of "zoological garden" = place to keep animals
zoology = the study of animals
zoologist = person who studies animals
protozoa = first animal
spermatozoa = seed of male animals

viv  [of Latin origin, meaning: alive, live, living]


survive [up + live] to live "up" (longer) than others (usually relatives)
vivacious = lively
vivacity = life energy
vivid = looking like real life
vivify = to make like real life

vita  [of Latin origin, meaning: life]


vital = needed for life
vitality = liveliness
vitamin = chemical needed for life (and healthy diet)

vest  [of Latin origin, meaning: cloth]


vest = a sleeveless cloth worn over a shirt
vestment = a special cloth [usually worn by clergy]
investiture = a metaphorical "cloth," representing power or authority

verb  [of Latin origin, meaning: word]


verbal = of words; having words; using words
verbose = using many words

vera or veri  [of Latin origin, meaning: truth]


veracity = truth
verily = truly
veritable = true

vent  [of Latin origin, meaning come]


advent = The Coming (of something)
Advent Calendar = a "countdown" calendar that ends at "the coming" of a special event
convene = come together
intervene = come between

vacu  [of Latin origin, meaning: empty]


vacuous = having an empty head  (This is an insult).
vacuum = empty space
vacuum cleaner = a machine that makes empty space

un  [of Latin origin, meaning not]  (see also "in")


undo = erase
unhappy = not happy
ungrateful = not thankful
unseen = not seen

ultra  [of Latin origin, meaning above]


ultrasonic = [above sound]  (a.) of sound that can't be heard by a human
ultrasound = sound that is above the ability that humans can hear
ultraviolet = [above violet] (wavelengths above violet on the electromagnetic scale)

trans  [of Latin origin, meaning: across]


transform = [move across + form]  to change form
transmit = [across + send] to send across wires
transport = [across + doors] to move [across a space] from one door to another door

therm(o)  [of Greek origin, meaning heat]


thermal = (a.) using heat
thermodynamics = scientific laws of heat
thermometer = a device that measures heat
endothermic = in-going heat
exothermic = out-going heat
hypothermia [below heat] = freezing to death
hyperthermia = [above heat] heat exhaustion

test  [of Latin origin, meaning witness]


attest = (v.) to witness
contest = (v.) to witness again
detest = (v.) to witness down (hate)
protest = (v.) to witness forward
testament = (n.) a written witness
testimony = (n.) a spoken witness
testify = (v.) to witness
testifier = (n.) person who witnesses

temp(o)  [of Latin origin, meaning: time]


tempo = timing (especially for music)
contemporary = in modern times

temp(e)  [of Latin origin, meaning: weather]


tempest = storm
temperature = heat of the weather

tain  [of Latin origin, meaning: have or hold]


contain [together + hold] = hold (inside)
detain [down + hold] = hold sb down (or put sb in jail)
maintain = keep holding; keep going; keep doing
retain [back + hold] = hold (keep) sth/sb

syn  [of Latin & Greek origin, meaning: same]


synonyms [same + name] = two (or more) words with the same or similar meanings


syn  [of Greek origin, meaning: together]


photosynthesis = putting light together
syntax [together + order] the proper order of words in a sentence
synthesize = put together; make something
synthetic = man-made

sub  [of Latin origin, meaning: under]


subconscious [under + knowledge] = "deep knowledge" in the brain (mind), but not available to memory
marine [under + sea]  = a vehicle that travels under the sea
subterranean [under + land]  = underground 

stell  [of Latin origin, meaning: star]


Stella = Star (a woman's name)
stellar = of the stars; star-like
constellation = a group of stars having a name (Ex., Big Dipper)

aster or astro  [of Greek origin, meaning: star]


asterisk = *
astrology = study of the stars (and their effects)
astronomy [astro + nom (name)] the study and NAMING of the stars

spir or spirit  [of Latin origin, meaning: breath]


spirit = breath [of God]
expiration [ex (out) + spir (breath) + ation (action)] breathing out
inspiration [in (in) + spir (breath) + ation (action)] breathing in
respiration [re (again) + spir (breath) + ation (action)] breathing again (and again)

soph  [of Greek origin, meaning: wisdom]


Sophia = goddess of wisdom
sophism = a movement based upon the attainment of wisdom
philosophy = love of wisdom

sol  [of Latin origin, meaning: sun]


solar = of the sun
solar power = sunlight converted to electrical energy
solar calendar = a calendar based upon the time it takes the earth to orbit the sun
solarium = a part of a house that is lighted by the sun (with a glass roof)

sist  [of Latin origin, meaning: stand]


desist [down + stand] = stand down; or stop doing sth
insist [in + stand] = stand in the doorway; or block sb from doing sth; or keep sb doing sth
persist [keep + stand] = keep standing; keep doing sth
resist [back + stand] = stand back; refuse doing sth

sens or sent  [of Latin origin, meaning: feeling]


sense = feeling (physical)
sensitive = having strong senses (physical or emotional)
sentiment = feeling (emotional)
sentimental = having emotions (for sth or sb)

science  [of Greek origin, meaning: knowledge]


science = knowledge gained through research and testing hypotheses
conscience = a metaphysical knowledge (spiritual knowledge; the soul)
subconscious = having a mental knowledge "under" or hidden from one's memory
unconscious = not awake

rect  [of Latin origin, meaning: straight or right]


correct (a.) = right
correct (v.) = to make right
rectangle = a shape having four straight (right) angles
rectify = make right (a situation)
resurrection [re (again) + sur (up) + rect (straight) + ion (noun)]  to make somebody stand up straight again (make them come alive again)

re  [of Latin origin, meaning: again]


redo = do again (from scratch; from the beginning; start over)
renew = make new again (a contract)
renovate = make new again (a building)
repair [re + pair (ready)] = make ready again (fix)
repeat = do again (same thing over and over again)
replay = play again
replenish = make plenty again
resell = sell again
retell = tell again

re or retro [of Latin origin, meaning: back]


recede =
gain = get back
regress = step back
resist = stand back (refuse)
retain = hold back (keep)
"retro" = back in time
retroaction = go back and act again
retrograde = go back (down)
retrospection = look back (in time)

ram  [of Latin origin, meaning: branch]


ramify [branch + make] = to "branch out"
ramifications = [made branches] the consequences  

RAM  [acronym]

Meaning:  Random Access Memory


quo  [of Latin origin, meaning: "how many" or "which"]


quid pro quo [that which is for which] = "tit for tat"  (something for something)
quotient [how many times] the answer of a division question
status quo = [the state which...[exists]]  the current state of affairs

psych  [of Greek origin, meaning: mind]


psychic = person who uses his/her mind to "see" the future, or remote view
psycho = person who is psychotic
psychotic = having a messed up mind
psychology = [mind + study] study of the mind
psychologist = person who studies the mind
psychiatrist = doctor of the body and mind

pro  [of Latin origin, meaning: forward]


program = forward letter or word (a piece of paper with information about the event)
progress = step forward
project = throw forward
protest = witness (speak) forward

pre  [of Latin origin, meaning: before]


premarital = before marriage
prenatal = before birth
preordination = planned before mortal life
prepare [pre + pare (ready)] = get ready beforehand
pretest = test before learning

post1  [of Latin origin (post), meaning: after]


post modern = new
post mortem = after death examination (by a doctor)
post op (post operation) = after the operation (surgery)
post test = test after learning  (opposite: pretest)

post2  [of Latin origin (posto), meaning place/station]


post = one's station (place of job; or job itself)
post office = mail station

port  [of Latin origin, meaning: door or gate]


port = door into a city, state, or country
portable = able to be moved from door to door
porter = doorman
transport = move across [a distance] from one door to another door

pod  [of Greek origin, meaning: foot]


dipod or diapod = 2 feet
tripod = 3 feet (such as the thing that holds a camera)
tetrapod = 4 feet
podiatrist = foot doctor

photo [of Greek origin, meaning: light]


"photo" = short for "photograph" = light writing
photosynthesis [photo + syn (together) + thesis (putting)] the process of putting LIGHT + CO2 + H2O together to form C6H12O6   

phon  [of Greek origin, meaning: sound]


phone [sound] a device that makes sound
phoneme [sound meaning] the smallest unit of a language that has meaning
phonemics [sound meaning science] the science (or study) of sounds in a language that are NOT written
phonetics [sound science] the science (or study) of sounds in a language that ARE written
phonics [sound science] the symbol-sound connection; or the teaching thereof
phonology [sound study] the study of sounds in languages (phonetics + phonemics)
telephone [far sound] a device that transports sound far away

phil  [of Greek origin, meaning: love]


philanthropist = loving-people person
philanthropy = loving people
Philadelphia = loving city
philately = love of stamps
Philip = lover of horses
philosophy = love of wisdom
philosopher = loving-wisdom person

pharma  [of Greek origin, meaning: drugs]


pharmacy = drug store (medicine store)
pharmacist = druggist (person that sells drugs/medicine)
pharmacology = the study of drugs and how they affect the body

ped  [of Latin origin, meaning: foot]


pedal = foot pad (on a bicycle)
biped = two-footed organism
bipedal = having two feet (Bigfoot is bipedal.)
quadruped = four-footed organism

ped  [of Greek origin, meaning: child]


pedant = schoolmaster
antic = acting like a schoolmaster
pedagogue = teacher of children
pedagogy = the teaching of children

path(o)  [of Greek origin, meaning: feeling]


pathos = feeling
apathy = no feeling
apathetic = having no feeling

path(o)  [of Greek origin, meaning: suffering]


pathology = study of disease
pathologist = person who studies disease
pathological = of disease

pair or pare  [of Latin origin (parare), meaning: ready]


compare [com (together) + pare] = to take two ready things and put them together to see just how alike or different they are
prepare [pre (before) + pare] = beforehand get ready
repair [re (again) + pair] = make (sth) again ready (fixed)

pair  [of Latin origin (paria), meaning: equal]


pair = two equal things (like a pair of shoes)
par = [equality] --- average score (for golf)

pan  [of Greek origin, meaning: all]


panacea [all-healer] a drug that cures all illness
panorama [all view] a view all around
pancreas [all flesh] an organ in the body that regulates blood sugar
pandemonium [pan (all) + demon (evil spirits)] uproar; wild, lawless confusion
Pandora [all-gifted] From Greek mythology, the first mortal woman
Pan-America = All of the Americas

Pan  [>the Greek god Pan, possibly originating from the Greek word paein, meaning "pasture" as Pan was the god of pastures, pastors (shepherds), and wooded areas and wilderness]


panic = the fear caused by Pan when he screamed; mass fear

oral  [>Latin (mouth; opening)]


oral = of one's mouth
oral hygiene = cleaning of one's mouth
oral exam = an exam done with mouth/talking, rather than reading/writing

organ  [>Latin (organum) & >Greek (organon), meaning musical instrument]


organ = a musical instrument that uses a bellows and pipes

organ  [>Proto-Indo-European (like "urge"), meaning: do or work]


organ = the basic unit of the body that does a specific work
organism = a living thing
organelle = the basic unit in the cell that does a specific work

nym  [of Greek origin, meaning: name]


acronym = "capital [letter] name"
antonym = opposite name (meaning-wise)
homonym = same name (spelling-wise)
synonym = same name (meaning-wise)

nom  [of French (and Latin) origin, meaning: name]


nom de plum = name of the pen (pen name)
nominate = to name sb (for a position) 
nomenclature = naming system
nominative = noun (name of a person, place, or thing)

neo  [of Greek origin, meaning: new]


neonate = newborn
neophite = new person (in a job, school, whatever)
neoliberalism = new idea of international free trade

nov  [of Latin origin, meaning: new]


novice = a new person (in a job, school, whatever)
novel = a new piece of literature (fiction)
nova [stella] = new star

necro  [of Greek origin, meaning: death]


necromancy [death + divination] predicting the future by using dead things, like bones, turtle shells, etc.
necrophilia [death + love] the love of death or dead things
necropsy = a medical inspection after death 

narco  [of Greek origin, meaning: sleep]


narcotics = drugs that make you sleepy
narcolepsy = a disease that makes people fall asleep at any time without warning

nat(e)  [of Latin origin, meaning: birth]


native [born]  a person born in that place
native speaker = a person who has been learning a specific language since birth
Nativity = the birth of Jesus the Nazarene
neonate [new birth] a newborn child
prenatal [before birth] happening before birth (while in the womb)
postnatal [after birth] happening after birth

mort  [of Latin origin, meaning: death]


mortal = (a.) can die
immortal = (a.) not able to die
mortician = death doctor (the person who prepares the body for the funeral
mortify = (v.) make somebody feel so embarrassed or ashamed that they want to die
mortified = (a.) feeling so embarrassed or ashamed that one wishes to die

morph  [of Greek origin, meaning: shape]


amorphous = having no shape
morpheme = the smallest "shape" or part of a word that has meaning
morphology = study of morphemes
metamorph = an organism that can change shape at will
metamorphic = changing shape
metamorphosis [change + shape + process]

meta  [of Greek origin, meaning: change]


metabolism = changes on a cellular level (speed thereof)
morph = an organism that can change shape at will
morphic = changing shape
morphosis [meta + morph (shape) + osis (process)]
metaphor [change + carry]  a word that carries a change of meaning
metastasis = changing from normal cell to cancerous cell

meta  [of Greek origin, meaning: beyond]


metacognition [meta (beyond) + cognition (knowledge)]
          = knowledge about how knowledge is gained
language [meta (beyond) + language (speech)]
          = language about language (& how it is learned)
physical = beyond the physical
metaphysics = study of things beyond the physical

mano or manu  [of Latin origin, meaning: hand]


manufactured [hand + made] (nowadays, it doesn't have to be made by hand, just made)
mano a mano [hand to hand]  (used for hand-to-hand combat) i.e., fighting without weapons {only hands (and feet)}
manipulate [hand + control] to control somebody with one's hands (also used to control somebody with skillful words)

mal  [of Latin origin, meaning:  bad]


malady = bad disease
maladjusted = badly adjusted
malevolence = bad heart (mind)
malevolent = having a bad heart (mind)
malcontent = bad feeling; dissatisfied
malformed = having a bad form (shape)
malintent = bad intentions

luz or luc  [of Latin origin, meaning: light (the bright stuff that comes from the sun)]


elucidate = to make sb have a bright and clear mind
lucid = bright and clear
Lucifer = light bearer (the name of the Devil, who is angel of light)
Lucy = light (a woman's name)

luna  [of Latin origin, meaning: moon]


lunar calendar = MOON calendar  (opposite: solar calendar, which we use today)
lunatic = a person who is made crazy by the full moon

lev  [of Latin origin, meaning: light (not heavy)]


levity = light-heartedness; joviality; frivolity
levitation = the process of making something lighter than air
levitate = to make something lighter than air

junct  [of Latin origin, meaning: join]


junction [joining] place where two roads join into one, like a "Y"
conjunction [together joining] a word that joins two parts of speech or two clauses
injunction [in joining] 
          1. An authoritative warning or order [that joins two parties in fixing a legal problem].
          2. A judicial order that restrains a person from effecting legal action, or orders redress to an injured party.

ject  [of Latin origin, meaning: throw]


deject [down throw] to "throw" something (abstract) down; to disregard an idea
project [forward throw] literally to throw something forward
reject [back throw] to "throw" something back

inter  [of Latin origin, meaning: between]


intercom = between [people] communication
international = between nations
internet = between networks  [a huge network that connects networks across the globe]
intervene = to come between

infra  [of Latin origin, meaning: below]


infrared = below red (in the electromagnetic spectrum)  [see ultraviolet]
infrasonic = below sound (that can be heard by human ears)
infrastructure = [below building] foundation of all the human civilization (including buildings, bridges, highways, etc.)

in~ or im~  [of Latin origin, meaning not]  (see also "un")


inappropriate = not appropriate
inattentive = not attentive
indecent = not decent
insensitive = not sensitive
immaculate = not stained
improper = not proper
impossible = not possible

in~  [of Latin origin, meaning in]  (sometimes "in" means "in")


innate [in birth] happening from birth (natural)
interior = inside
inspiration [in + spir (breath) + ation] breathing in

hypo  [of Greek origin, meaning: below, under]


hypodermic = below the skin
hypothermia = under-heating disease (freezing to death)

hyper  [of Greek origin, meaning: above, over]


hyperactive = over active
hyperthermia = over heating

hydro  [of Greek origin, meaning: water]


Hydra = water dragon (killed by Apollo)
hydroelectric energy = electrical energy from water power
hydrogen = the basic element in water
carbohydrate = carbon + water

homo  [of Latin origin, meaning: same]


homogenous = of the same kind
homonyms = same names
homophones = same-sounding words
homosexual = same gender

homi or homo  [of Latin origin, meaning: man (human)]


ad hominem = against the man
homicide = the killing of a human being
homo sapiens = thinking man
homo erectus = upright man

hetero  [of Latin origin, meaning: different]


heterogeneous = different
heterophones = different-sounding words
heterosexual = different gender

graph  [of Greek origin, meaning: writing; picture]


graph = a picture (diagram) which communicates like words
graphic (n.) = a picture
graphic (a.) = having vivid pictures
biography [life + writing]  writing about a person's life
autobiography [self + life + writing]  writing about one's own life

gram  [of Greek and Latin origin, meaning: writing; letter]


grammar = the rules of writing
grammatical = following the rules of writing
monogram = 1-letter
tetragrammaton = 4-letter word
diagram = picture

gnosis  [of Greek origin, meaning: knowledge]


Diagnosis = [dia (apart) + gnosis (knowledge)]  knowledge of that which is apart from the norm (for doctors)
ics = keepers of hidden knowledge
gnosticism = the religion of the Gnostics
prognosis [pro (forward; future) + gnosis] knowledge of what will happen in the future (for doctors)
prognostication = act of predicting the future


fin  [of Latin origin, meaning: end]


final = last, of the end
finality = the condition of being last
finally = lastly
finish = n. end;  v. to do until the end
finite = a. having an end
infinite = a. having no end, without end


~fer  [of Latin origin, meaning: to bear or to carry]


confer [con (together) + fer] to carry/give some abstract thing to another person
conifer [conus (cone) + fer] a cone-bearing tree
defer [de (down) + fer] to "carry" (or put) down (to be "picked up" later);  delay
infer [in (inside) + fer] to "carry" into one's mind (brain);  to guess the meaning "in" some phrase or sentence.
Lucifer [luz (light) + fer] light bearer
refer [re (back) + fer] to "carry" a discussion back to a previous point

fic  [of Latin origin, meaning: work]


beneficiary = good works receiver
efficient = outward working  (producing work outwardly)
coefficient [co (2) + e (outside) + fic (work)] the outside part of 2 things working together
                   [in mathematics:  in the number 4y, 4 is the coefficient;  4 and y work together by multiplication]

fact  [of Latin origin, meaning: make or do]


factory = place that makes stuff
benefactor = good doer
effect = out + make (to make a good output)


e~ or ex~   [of Latin origin, meaning: out]


edict [e + dictare (say, speak)] to speak out a rule
ducation [e + duct (carry) + ate (v.) + ion (n.)] to bring ("carry") knowledge out of the teacher's mind and giving it to pupils.
efface [e + face (appearance)] face out (to erase or destroy the face of something) 
effect [e + fect (do or make)] to make a result
egregious [e + greg (group) ious (a.)] clearly, far out of the normal happenings of a group of people
egress [e + gress (step)] (v.) to step out of (used metaphorically to mean someone "steps" out of a topic of conversation.
elect [e + lect (choose)] (v.) to choose one out of many;  (n.) the best of the best
emit [e + mittere (send)]  to send out sth
enunciate [e + nunciate (announce)]  to speak out very, very clearly
erect [e + rect (straight)] (v.) to make sth stand out/up straight;  (a.) straight
eject [e + ject (throw)] (v.) to throw sth out
loquent [e + loqui (speaking, locution)]  (a.) speaking very well
elude [e + luz (light)] (v.) to go out of the light.... escape from~
manate [e + manare (flow)] to come out of...
emancipate [e + manus (hand) capare (capture) {mancipium = slavery}]  to  hand sb out of captivity (slavery)
exact [ex + act (do, perform)] (v.) to act OUT by demanding sth by force; (a.) precise, accurate
exalt [ex + altus (high)] (v.) to take sb out of the multitude and put him/her up high
example [ex + samples] one sample out of many
excavate [ex + cavare (make a cave)] to dig sth out of the ground
exceed [ex + cedere (go)] to go out of or beyond one's expectations (used metaphorically)
excel [ex + cellere (rise)] to rise out of or beyond one's expectations (used metaphorically)
except [ex + capere (take)] take out _____;  not including ____
exclaim [ex + claim (declare)] to declare loudly out of one's mouth
exclude [ex + claudere (shut)] to shut sb or sth out
communicate [ex + com (together) + municate (share)] to send someone outside a group or organization, and forbid him/her from sharing any property or union with the group
excrement [ex + crete (sift) + ment (n.)] the material that comes out of an organism, feces and/or urine.
excretory system [ex + crete (sift)] the system of the body that sifts the blood and makes the urine come out.
ecute [ex + sequi (follow)]  (v.t.) to follow a plan, or an order
and many more.

exo~  [of Greek origin, meaning: outside]


exodus = a large movement of people OUT of a region

exopolitics = relations with intelligent life OUTSIDE of the Earth

exoskeleton = skeleton on the OUTSIDE of the body


~dom   [Old English origin, meaning: "domain" > from Greek: dome, meaning "home"]


Freedom = the domain (home) of being free
Wisdom = the domain (home) of being wise
Christendom = the domain (home) of Christianity
Dukedom = the domain (home) of a duke
Kingdom = the domain (home) of a king
martyrdom = the domain (home) of being a martyr

Note:  ~dom can be added to various words to express "domain of"


officialdom = the domain of official stuff
theatredom = the domain of the theatre (Br.) theater (Am.)
stupiddom = the domain of stupidity

dict  [of Latin origin, meaning: say, speak]


diction = speech (quality of speech)
dictionary = a book that tells you how to say words
contradiction = saying against sb or sth
prediction = saying (what will happen) before it happens


di or dis = [of Latin origin, meaning: two (2), apart, divided, separated, without (similar to Greek dia]


different [di (2) + fer (bear, carry) + ent (a.)]  bearing (carrying) 2 separate qualities (not the same)
fficult [di (apart) + facilis (easy)]  apart from being easy;  i.e., not easy
diligent [di (without) + ligere (concern about pain)]  doing sth without concern for pain, hard-working
direct [di (2) + rect (straight)]   straight between two points
divide [di (2) + videre (separate (v.))]   to separate into two parts
disable [dis (without) + able (ability)]   to make something exist without ability (to make something not work) 

More Examples without definitions:



dia  [of Greek origin, meaning: two, apart, divided]


diagnosis [dia + gnosis (knowledge)] the doctor's knowledge of a patient's condition
gonal [dia + gonia (angle)] across from two angles
dialect [dia + lect (speak)] a language, which is divided from the standard speech
dialogue [dia + logos (word)] a two-person conversation
diameter [dia + meter (measure)] the measure of the distance across a circle, the line of which divides the circle into two parts.
diaper [dia + aspros (white)] two white cloths worn on a baby's bottom.
diarrhea [dia + rhein (flow)] the liquid flow of feces; a liquid bowel movement

dia [from Latin, meaning: day]


carpe dium = cease the day

diary = a daily journal
diurnal = in the day time (or of the day)

      opposite:  nocturnal = in the night time

Sample sentences:
Humans are diurnal creatures.  Cats are nocturnal creatures.


derm(o)  [of Greek origin, meaning:  skin]


dermis = skin
epidermis [epi (top) + dermo] = top layer of skin
dermatology [dermo + logos (word, study)] the study of the skin
dermatologist [dermo + logos + ist (person)] person, who has studied the skin; skin expert
dermatitis [dermo + itis (inflammation)] inflammation of the skin
hypodermic [below + skin] 


demos  [of Greek origin, meaning:  people]


democracy [demos + cracy (rule,gov't)]  government of the people, for the people, by the people
demography [demos + graph (picture)]  the science that measures the different kinds of people in a specific area 
demographics = the composition of peoples in a given area
demographer = the person who measures the demographics of a given area

de  [from Latin, meaning: down]


debility [de + ability] weakness
depend [de + pend (hang)] lit. hang down, but in English: to be resultant or contingent upon..
depose [de + ponere (put)] to put sb down from office
deposit [de + ponere (put)] to put sth down
depress [de + press] 1) to press sth down, 2) to make sb feel down
descend [de + scandere (climb)] to climb down; to come/go down
decry [de + cry] to "cry down" sth; i.e., to cry out in order to put a concept or idea down
defame [de + fame] to make sb's fame "go down"; i.e., to lessen one's fame
defeat [de + facere (make)] to make one's opponent "go down";  to conquer one's opponent
degenerate [de + generare (produce)] to cease producing, and begin to fall into decay
defy [de + fidus (faith)] to "put down" one's faith/allegiance
degrade [de + grade (level,rank)] 1) v.t., to lower the rank of sb/sth; 2) v.i., to lose quality
deplane [de + airplane] to get down off of an airplane
detain [de + tenere (hold)] to hold sb down; to keep sb in custody (in jail or in prison)

and many more... 


curre~ = [from Latin, meaning: run] similar to couri~ [from French, meaning: run]


courier [French: runner] a person who runs errands (for other people; and usually for money)
[Latin: running]  English1(n.): "running" water;  English2(a.): "running", i.e., happening, e.g., "current affairs"
course [French: running] English1: a road for running;  English2: a way of doing sth, e.g. a "course of action"
intercourse [inter (between) + course] Definition1: social interaction/communication;  Defintion2: sex
discourse [dis (separately) + course] Latin: running to and fro;  English: communication


crux (or) cruci~  =  [from Latin, meaning: cross = form of torture and capital punishment]


crux (krLks)  = short for crux interpretum or crux philosophorum, meaning:  the cross of interpreters or the cross of philosophers.  (This word is used in formal essays and speeches).
crucifix (kru:sifiks)  = (1) the device used to torture and terminate life, used in Roman times. (2) a small model of the original crucifix, used by Christians as an icon of worship

crucifixion (kru:sifikfLn)  = the process of nailing a person on the cross for a torturous death.
excruciating (a.)  = extremely painful, as being nailed to a cross


com  {variation of "con", together}


combat [com + battere (fight)]  to fight a battle against sth
combine [com + bini (two)] to put things together
command [com + mandare (mandate)] to mandate; to order
commend [com + mandare (mandate)] to praise highly (formal word)
comment [com + mens (mind)] to speak one's mind
commerce [com + merc (merchandise)] the buying and selling of merchandise
commission [com + mission (errand)] an errand (formal word)
commit [com + mittere (send)] to promise
compact [com + pangere (fasten)] to make tight, and smaller
companion [com + panis (bread)] one who eats "bread" with another; partner
compartment [com + part + ment] one of many small containers for storage
compassion [com + pati (feeling)] the ability to feel for others
compel [com + pellere (drive; force)] to drive/force sb to do sth
compensate [com + pensare (weigh)] to weigh (the money) for work done
complain [com + plangere (lament)] to lament verbally 
complete [com + plenus (full)] to be full, whole
compose [com + ponere (put)] to put sth together to make sth else
computer [com + put (put) + er (machine)] a machine that puts numbers together


contra  [from >Latin, meaning:  counter, against]


contraband = [contra + band (decree)] = illegal goods
ception = [contra + ception (reception)] literally = against reception, but specifically against reception of sperm (to egg)
contradict = [contra + dict (say)] to say the opposite of what sb else says
contraposition = [contra + position (stance)] against another's stance
contrary = against, opposite
contrast = to see the differences


con  [from >Latin, meaning:  together (two or more)]


concur = [con + cur (happen)]  to happen together (at same time)
demn = [con + demn (damn)] to damn sb.(all together, with one mind)
found = [con + ?]  to perplex, baffle, stupefy
gratulate = [con + gratulate (?)] to express words of praise for an achievement
jugate = [con + jugate (join, v.)]  to join together
junction = [con + junction (joining, n.)] the joining of things together
sent = [con + sent (feel)] to agree; to give permission
stitute = [con + stitute (set up)] to set up together
tact = [con + tact (touch)] to touch (v.t.) together
vene = [con + vene (come)] to come together (in a big group) (v.i.)

cogni~  [of Latin origin, meaning: knowledge (but different from "science" which also means knowledge)]  "cogni" means to have intimate knowledge of something; that means, to have a deep understanding about something or someone.


cognition = knowledge + understanding
cognitive development = the mental development of a human being (from birth to adult)
recognize [again + know]  to perceive something for the second time and to remember (know it again)
precognition [before + knowing]  knowing beforehand what will happen (usually from psychic sources)


co  [from >Latin, meaning:  2 people together]


coact = act together (2 people)
coauthor = author together (2 people)
cocreate = create together (2 people)
coedit = edit together (2 people)
coeducation (education that has the 2 genders together)
coinvent = invent together (2 people)
coproduce = produce together (2 people)
coworker = a person that works together with you (at the same company)



civil  [from >Latin, meaning:  city-like, i.e., having rule and order]


civic = (a.) of a city
civil = having rule and order
civilian = member of a city or state, which is NOT a member of the military  (opp. soldier)
civility = rule and order
civilize = make having rule and order
civilization = place having rule and order
civility = action without fighting, without war
civil servant = anyone who works for the government of a city or state


citi  [from >Latin, meaning:  town]


citizen = member of a city or state
city = large town


circulo  [from >Latin, meaning:  circle]


circle = circle
circuit = electrical circle
circular = (adj.)
circulate = to send around in a circular direction
circumcise = [circum + cise (cut)]  to cut the foreskin of the penis
circumference = distance around a circle
circumscribe = to describe all aspects of limits clearly
circumspect = [circum + spect (look)] look all around
circumstance = situation all around
circumvent = [circum + vent (come)]  to avoid (come around)
circus = show in a circle-shaped tent

cyclo  [from >Greek, meaning: circle]


Cyclops = [cyclo + ops (eye)] = monster with one circular eye in the middle of it's forehead
bicycle = two-wheeled vehicle
tricycle = three-wheeled vehicle
unicycle = one-wheeled vehicle
cycle = circular event (process that repeats)
cyclic = (adj.) happening in cycles
encyclopedia = en (in) + cyclo (circle) + ped (child) + ia (which loosely translated means education).
cyclone = hurricane
motorcycle = a bicycle with a motor on it

cine /si-neh/ [from >Latin, but originally from >Greek kinesis, meaning:  movement]


cinema = movie theatre
cinemactor = movie star (male)
cinemactress = movie star (female)
cinema fan = one who likes to see movies (in the theater)
cinematic = [cine + mat (place) + ic (a.)]  of movies, or of the movie theater
cinematics = [cine + mat + ics (science)] the science of cinematography
cinematography = [cine + mat + graph (picture) + y (study)]  the art, science, and study of movie-making  
cinematographer = one who makes movies, director
cinephile = [cine + phile (lover)]  movie-lover

chron  [from >Greek, meaning: time]


chronicle = journal {with time (dates)}
chronology = 1.) study of time;  (2.) timeline
chronometer = time measurer (a machine that measures time)
anachronism = an event or thing (in literature) that is out of its proper time (setting)
anachronous = out of time (out of its proper time)

chrom  [from >Greek, meaning: color]


chromatic = having many colors
chrome = a mirror-like metal that reflects ALL COLORS
chromium = a shiny metal
chromosomes = colorful "bodies" (the colorful bodies of DNA)


cele  [from >Latin, meaning:  sky, heaven]


celestial = of the sky, of heaven (adj.)
Celeste = "heaven" (It's a woman's name)

maybe... ceiling = top of a room

ceive [from>Latin origin (capere), meaning: take]


conceive [con (together) + ceive (take)]   (1) to take into one's mind;
                 (2) to take seed (sperm) into the egg (ovum)
deceive [de (down) + ceive (take)]  to take one "down"; to trick sb
perceive [per (through) + ceive (take)] to take in through one's senses (through one of the five senses)
receive [re (again) + ceive (take)] to take; to accept

cept [from>Latin, meaning: taken]


conception = [sperm] taken into the egg (ovum)
Immaculate conception = [sperm] taken into the egg (ovum) without sex (adulteration)

ceed or cede  [from>Latin, meaning, to go; or to yield]


concede [con (together) + cede] = to yield
proceed [pro (forward) + ceed] = to go forward
recede [re (back) + cede] = to go back
secede [se (separate) + cede] = to go separate:  to go apart from

carn~  [from>Latin, meaning: flesh, meat]


carnivore = meat eater
carnival = meat festival
incarnate = in the flesh (spirit in the flesh)
reincarnate = again in the flesh (live again, in a different flesh body)

cap  [from>Latin, meaning: head]


cap = a hat for the head
captain = head master (of a ship)
capital offense = a crime that requires ones head to be cut off [nowadays: a crime worthy of the death penalty]
capitol building = the "head" building of a state (or country)
capitol city = the "head" city of a state (or country)
capsize = turn on one's head (as a ship turns over in the sea)


blanc / blank [from >Latin blanco, meaning: white]


blank = in English "blank" doesn't mean "white";  it means "clean" (when referring to a surface)
blanket = probably originally a white sheet (for a bed), but now it means any covering for a bed
carte blanche /cart blanf / [from >French:  carte (card) + blanche (white), meaning:  "white card"]  in English carte blanche is used as and adverb.  For example, "Full power was given carte blanche to control his affairs."

Note:  "carte blanche" is a metaphor.  For detailed explanation see the Metaphor Page.

bio  [from >Greek, meaning: life]


biology = study of life
biography = life writing
biochemical = having "life" chemicals
biochemistry = study of "life" chemicals (the chemistry of life)

bene  [from > Latin, meaning: good]


benefit = good works
beneficiary = good works receiver
benefactor = good doer
benevolence = good-heartedness

auto  [from > Greek, meaning: self]


autobiography = self-life-writing
autocrat = self ruler
autocracy = self rule
automobile = self-moving thing
automatic = moving by itself


arch /ark/ = [from > Greek, meaning: leader, ruler, chief]


archangel /ark ein' dzel/ = [chief angel] (Michael)
archenemy /ark en' e mi:/ = [chief enemy]
matriarch /mei' tri: ark/ = [mother leader]
patriarch /pei' tri: ark/ = [father leader]
monarchy /ma' nar ki:/ = [one ruler]
diarchy /dai' ar ki:/ = [two rulers]
triarchy /trai' ar ki:/ = [three rulers]
tetrarchy /tre' trar ki:/ = [four rulers]
oligarchy /a' li gar ki:/ = [few rulers]

arch = [from > Latin, meaning: bow]


Many buildings use arches in their architecture.
ery = the use of bow
Archer = person who uses a bow



aqua = [from >Latin, meaning: water]


AquaMan = the superhero that can swim and breathe under water
marine [aqua + marine (sea)] = color of the sea
aquarium = [aqua + rium (place)] = a glass container, which fish are kept in
Aquarius = [aqua + rius (carrier)] the eleventh sign of the Zodiac:  The Water Carrier
Aquatic = living in or near water
aqueduct [aqua + duct (conduit)] = A human-made water-way
aqueous = of water


ad  = [from >Latin, meaning:  to (toward)]


addict [ad + dict (say)] to make someone surrender to (sth)
address [ad + dress (arrange)] to speak to an audience
adhere [ad + here (stick)] to stick to (sth)
ad hoc [ad + hoc (this)] to/for this
ad infinitum [ad + infinitum (infinity)] to infinity
ad initium [ad + initium (beginning)]  to the beginning
ad interim [ad + interim (middle)] to the middle
adjacent [ad + jacent (lie)] to lie next to
adjourn [ad + journ (journey)] to make a journey home from a business mtg.
admire [ad + mire (wonder, astonish)] to be astonished at
admit [ad + mit (send)] to send in
admonish [ad + monish (warm)]
advance [ab (from) + vance (ante,before)] from before
advent [ad + vent (come)] the coming
Adventist [ad + vent + ist (person)] person who looks for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ
adventure [ad + vent + ure (n.)] exciting event
adverb [ad + verb] to the verb
advise [ad + vise (counsel)] to give counsel
advocate [ad + vocate (voice)] to make a voice in behalf of...

 ab = [from >Latin, meaning:  from]


abandon = [ab + andon = walk] to walk away from
abdicate = [ab + dicate = say]  to say I will go away from; resign
abduct = [ab + duct = carry] to carry away from
abject = [ab + ject = throw] to be down (depressed)
aborigine = [ab + original = first] from the first people of a place
abrupt = [ab + rupt = tear, break] sudden
absent = [ab + sent = be, exist] away from (not) existing
absolute = [ab + solute = loose] away from (not) loose; sure
absolve = [ab + solve = loosen] to make not loose; to make sure
absorb = [ab + sorb = suck] to suck (sth) up
abstain = [ab + stain = hold, have] to refrain from; to not have
abstract = [ab + stract = pull] to pull from/ out of
absurd = [ab + surd = deaf, stupid] from stupidity

a  (or "an") =  [from >Greek, meaning:  no/not]


amorphous = [a (no) + morph (shape) + ous (adj.)]
moral = [no morals] adj.
sexual = [no sex] adj.
typical = not typical
archy /aen ar ki:/ = [an (no) + arch (leader) + y (n.)]



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