The Language of Science
Science contains a language all its own. The main reason individuals find it difficult to understand many of the sciences is its difficult looking vocabulary. Large words are associated with difficulty, and difficulty equates to hard. So by the vocabulary alone science is hard. Actually, scientific vocabulary is a hodge podge of roots, prefixes, and suffixes put together to describe events, body parts, or functions, etc. observed by the individuals studying the process. Below you will find a list of the more common prefixes and suffixes and their meaning(s). If one can learn their meaning(s) , they will be well on their way to understanding the vast vocabulary of science.
 
Prefix
Meaning
Prefix
Meaning
Suffix
Meaning
a or an
not or non.
epi

above

-cyst

pouch

meso

middle

exo

outer, external

-derm

skin, layer

endo

inside, inner

gastro

stomach

-saccharide

sugar

aero

needing oxygen or air

hemo

blood

-itis

inflammation

anti

against.

hetero

different

-logy

study of

arth

joint, jointed

homo

same

-meter

measurement

auto

self

macro

large

-osis

condition

bio

related to life

micro

small

-phase

stage

chloro

green

multi

consisting of many units

-phage

eater

cyto

cell

photo

pertaining to light

-pod

foot

di

double

pre

before

-stasis

stationary condition

mono

singular or one

lipo

pertaining to fat

-lysis

to break

Geo

pertaining to the earth

poly

many

-synthesis

to build or make

 
 
Directions: Using the above chart, determine the meaning of the following scientific words.
 
 
1. Biology __________________________________________________________________.
 
2. Abiotic __________________________________________________________________.
 
3. Micronucleus _____________________________________________________________.
 
4. Polycystic ________________________________________________________________.
 
5. Liposuction _______________________________________________________________.
 
6. Autophage ________________________________________________________________.
 
7. Gastritis __________________________________________________________________.
 
8. Geology __________________________________________________________________.
 
9. Photosynthesis _____________________________________________________________.
 
10. Cytology _________________________________________________________________.
 
Directions: Match the definition with correct scientific word.
 
 

1. ________Aerobic respiration

a. Layer of tissue that produces digestive enzymes.

2. ________Arthropod

b. Breaking up of a cell.

3. ________Polycystic

c. Inflammation of the appendix.

4. ________Arthritis

d. Needing oxygen to live.

5. ________Gastroderm

e. Jointed appendages

6. ________Photometer

f. A substance that is not part of an organisms body.

7. ________Anaerobic

g. Measures light intensity.

8._________Antigen

h. Not needing oxygen to live.

9. ________Cytolysis

i. Inflammation of the joints.

10. _______Appendicitis

j. A structure divided into many compartments.