๐Ÿ‘‰ A BIG List of Prefixes and Suffixes and Their Meanings


prefixes and suffixes

๐Ÿ‘‰ Prefix Meaning

Prefix is a letter or a group of letters that appears at the beginning of a word and changes the wordโ€™s original meaning. A suffix is a letter or a group of letters that is usually added onto the

๐Ÿ‘‰ Suffix Meaning

What is the Suffix?

Suffix is a letter or a group of letters that is usually added onto the end of words, to change the way a word fits into a sentence grammatically.

Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs all tend to use different suffixes, so this makes it a little easier to remember! Collectively, prefixes and suffixes are known as โ€˜affixesโ€™.prefix place๐Ÿ‘‰ Prefixes

Prefix Definitions

A prefix is a letter or a group of letters that attaches to the beginning of a word and helps to indicate or modify its meaning. An easy example would be the word โ€˜prefixโ€™ itself! It begins with the prefix pre-, which means โ€˜beforeโ€™.

It is quite important to understand what different prefixes mean as they can help to understand the meanings of any new vocabulary that you learn. However, you do need to be careful, as sometimes a prefix can have more than one meaning!

An example would be im-, this can mean โ€˜notโ€™ or โ€˜intoโ€™.

Here is a list of the most common prefixes

๐Ÿ‘‰ Prefix Examples

ante-beforeantenatal, anteroom, antedate
anti-against, opposingantibiotic, antidepressant, antidote
circum-aroundcircumstance, circumvent, circumnavigate
co-withco-worker, co-pilot, co-operation
de-off, down, away fromdevalue, defrost, derail, demotivate
dis-opposite of, notdisagree, disappear, disintegrate, disapprove
em-, en-cause to, put intoembrace, encode, embed, enclose, engulf
epi-upon, close to, afterepicentre, episcope, epidermis
ex-former, out ofex-president, ex-boyfriend, exterminate
extra-beyond, more thanextracurricular, extraordinary, extra-terrestrial
fore-beforeforecast, forehead, foresee, foreword, foremost
homo-samehomosexual, homonuclear, homoplastic
hyper-over, abovehyperactive, hyperventilate
il-, im-, in-, ir-notimpossible, illegal, irresponsible, indefinite
im-, in-intoinsert, import, inside
infra-beneath, belowinfrastructure, infrared, infrasonic, infraspecific
inter-, intra-betweeninteract, intermediate, intergalactic, intranet
macro-largemacroeconomics, macromolecule
micro-smallmicroscope, microbiology, microfilm, microwave
mid-middlemidfielder, midway, midsummer
mis-wronglymisinterpret, misfire, mistake, misunderstand
mono-one, singularmonotone, monobrow, monolithic
non-not, withoutnonsense, nonentity, nondescript
omni-all, everyomnibus, omnivore, omnipotent
para-besideparachute, paramedic, paradox
post-afterpost-mortem, postpone, post-natal
pre-beforeprefix, predetermine, pre-intermediate
re-againreturn, rediscover, reiterate, reunite
semi-halfsemicircle, semi-final, semiconscious
sub-undersubmerge, submarine, sub-category, subtitle
super-above, oversuperfood, superstar, supernatural, superimpose
therm-heatthermometer, thermostat, thermodynamic
trans-across, beyondtransport, transnational, transatlantic
tri-threetriangle, tripod, tricycle
un-notunfinished, unfriendly, undone, unknown
uni-oneunicycle, universal, unilateral, unanimous



0. 000 000 001


0. 001


0. 01




1000 000


1000 000 000


1000 000 000 000

Prefix nano-

The prefix nano- is used in the metric system. The prefix denotes a factor of one billionth.


  • Nanometer

Prefix milli-

The prefix milli- is used in the metric system. It has only one use and it is to denote a factor of one thousandth.


  • Millimeter

Prefix centi-

Centi- is a unit prefix in the metric system. It denotes a factor of one hundredth.


  • Centimeter, centigram, centiliter, etc.

Prefix kilo-

The prefix kilo- is a decimal unit prefix in the metric system. It denotes a multiplication of one thousand.


  • Kilogram, kilometer, kilojoule, kilobyte, kilobit, kiloohm, kilosecond, etc.

Prefix mega-

The prefix mega- can be used in two ways. The first is as a unit prefix in the metric system, and it describes one million units. The second is as an add-on for words to make them present something large.

Examples for metric system

  • Megapixel, megahertz, megabyte, megawatt, megadeath, megaton, megameter, etc.

Examples for add-on:

  • Mega-mass, mega-man, mega-important, mega-dope, mega-sized, etc.

Prefix giga-

The prefix giga- is used in the metric system to denote a factor of a billion. It is also commonly hyphenated in colloquial speech to describe something of great size.


  • Gigahertz, gigabyte, gigabit, giga-shroom, giga-power, giga-hamburger, giga-sized, etc.

Prefix tera- / Prefix for trillion

The prefix for trillion is tera-. Tera- is a unit prefix in the metric system.


  • Terawatt, terabyte, teralitre, terameter, terasecond, etc.



Biology and medicine โ€“ meaning: up, upon, over, etc.


Science and medicine โ€“ meaning: on the side of, beside, etc.


Biology and Medicine โ€“ meaning: within


Biology and chemistry โ€“ meaning: good, well


Medicine and biology โ€“ meaning: within


Medicine and biology โ€“ meaning: half


Biology and social science โ€“ meaning: different, other


Chemistry and astronomy โ€“ meaning: across, over, beyond, etc.


Chemistry and science โ€“ meaning: under, below, beneath, etc.


Chemistry, biology, and music theory โ€“ meaning: many, much, etc.


Chemistry, math, and geometry โ€“ meaning: four


Chemistry โ€“ meaning: equal


Chemistry โ€“ meaning: two, twice, double


Chemistry and biology โ€“ meaning: singular, alone, one


Science and astrology โ€“ meaning: abundant, exaggerated, etc.


Medicine and biology โ€“ meaning: under


Biology and geography โ€“ meaning: around, about, etc.

Prefix epi-

The prefix epi- is of Greek origin. It describes something that is on, upon, over, near, at before, or after something else. It is used across many sciences and disciplines, and is most common in biology and medicine,


  • Epicenter, epiblast, epidemic, epicarp, epiderm, epidural, epigene, epistasis, epidermis, epitome, epigraph, epigram, epipod, etc.

Prefix para-

The prefix para- is most commonly attached to verbs, and verb phrases. It means at one side of, or on the side of, as well as meaning beside, side by side, beyond, past, or describes something defective or inactive. It is used commonly in sciences and medicine.


  • Paradigm, parabola, paradox, parasitic, parallax, parameter, paranoia, paranormal, paraphernalia, parapraxis, parasite, paralegal, etc.

Prefix endo-

Endo- is a very simple prefix, and it means within. It is commonly used in biology, medicine, and other sciences.


  • Endobiotic, endocarp, endocrine, endoderm, endogenous, endomitosis, endomorph, endorphin, endoplasm, endospore, endotherm, etc.

Prefix eu-

The prefix eu- stems from Greek. It means something good, or well. It is commonly used in biology, medicine, and chemistry.


  • Eulogy, eucalyptus, euchlorine, euglycemia, eukaryote, euthanasia, euglena, eupeptic, eupnea, euthyroid, euthropic, euploid, etc.

Prefix intra-

The prefix intra- simply means within, and it is often associated with the prefix inter-. It is used to form compound words. The prefix intra- is also commonly used in biology and medicine.


  • Intravenous, intradermal, intracranial, intrada, intracardiac, intraclonal, intracodon, intray, intraocular, intrauterine, intrahost, intrasient, intraset, etc.

Prefix hemi-

The prefix hemi- is a simple one, and it means half. It is most commonly used in medicine and biology.


  • Hemiparesis, hemiplegia, hemithorax, hemihelix, hemicarbonic, hemicerebral, hemicoronal, heminode, hemiparesis, etc.

Prefix hetero-

The prefix hetero- simply means different, or other. Itโ€™s most commonly encountered in medicine and biology, as well as sometimes in social sciences.


  • Heterocyclic, heteromorphism, heterosexual, heterozygous, heterodox, heterogene, heteropod, heterochromatic, heterolateral, heterodiagenic, etc.

Prefix trans-

The prefix trans- is originally from Latin, and itโ€™s very versatile in its use. It means something across, over, beyond, through, or changing. It is also used in chemistry, and astronomy, to denote distance. It also refers to something on the other side of something, and is used to describe oneโ€™s gender if it doesnโ€™t align with the biologically assigned sex.ย 


  • Transgression, translucent, transaction, transfixed, transatlantic, transcontinental, trans-Martian, trans-Neptunian, transsexual, transgender, translation, etc.

Prefix sub-

The prefix sub- comes from Latin and it is very simple, but versatile. It means under, below, beneath, slightly, nearly, imperfect, secondary, or subordinate. It is also commonly used in chemistry and other sciences.


  • Subject, subtract, subjugate, subnitrate, suboxide, subchloride, subplot, subcommittee, subvert, submerge, submarine, subscribe, subtropical, etc.

Prefix poly-

The prefix poly- means many, much, or in great number. It is very common in chemistry and biology, as well as music theory.


  • Polyandrous, polyethylene, polymorphic, polyglot, polymer, polyester, polycaliber, polycentric, polytonal, polychord, polycratic, etc.

Prefix tetra-

Tetra- is a numeral prefix, and it means four. It is used to denote a thing that consists of four parts. It is commonly used in various sciences, especially chemistry, math, and geometry.


  • Tetrameter, tetragon, tetrahelix, tetrahydride, tetraionic, tetrachloride, tetracube, tetracycline, tetraethyl, tetranuclear, etc.

Prefix iso-

The prefix iso- means equal. It is commonly used in chemistry to describe isometric compounds. It is also used in the formation of various compound words.


  • Isometric, isotope, isocyanic, isoalkene, isolate, isontropic, isoclonal, isocurve, etc.

Prefix di-

The prefix di- comes from Greek, and it means two, twice, or double. It is used in the formation of various compound words. It is commonly seen in chemistry.


  • Dipolar, disulfide, diatomic, dioxide, dialogic, diazepine, dicobalt, diacarboxyl, dibasal, dibenzonate, etc.

Prefix mono-

The prefix mono- means something singular, alone, or simply one. It is commonly used in various sciences.


  • Mononucleosis, monophonic, monogamy, monorail, monopoly, monotheism, monolayer, monohydrate, monotonous, monotone, monoplan, etc.

Prefix hyper-

The prefix hyper- comes from Greek. It is used to describe something that is abundant, it means over and denotes something in excess or something being exaggerated. It is used commonly in sciences to denote mass or space.


  • Hyperbole, hyperthyroid, hyperventilate, hypermass, hyperinflation, hyperactive, hypercatabolic, hyperchloric, hypercritical, hyperchronic, hyperlink, etc.

Prefix hypo-

Hypo is a very simple prefix that comes from Greek. It means under. It is commonly used in medical terms, as well as generally in sciences and various researches.


  • Hypodermic, hypoglycemia, hypochondria, hypoallergenic, hypothesis, hypocritical, hypocrite, hypocorism, hypogean, hypocaust, etc.

Prefix peri-

The prefix peri- comes from Greek. It means around, about, enclosing, surrounding, or near. It is commonly used in biology and geography.


  • Periphery, periscope, pericranial, peridigital, perifacial, perimeter, peripatetic, perimorph, periodontal, periosteum, perihelion, etc.ย 

Chemistry Prefixes

In chemistry prefixes are used to name various compounds. These prefixes denote the number of a given element within a compound.


  • 1 โ€“ mono, 2 โ€“ di, 3 โ€“ tri, 4 โ€“ tetra, 5 โ€“ penta, 6 โ€“ hexa, 7 โ€“ hepta, 8 โ€“ octa, 9 โ€“ nona, 10 โ€“ deca


  • Nitrogen trihydride, copper sulfate pentahydrate, bicarbon sulfate, etc.



Privation, removal, separation, etc.


In between, among, together, etc.


Affinity to something, advancing, etc.


Our of, from, without


Not, opposite meaning of the original word


Again, repeating, back, etc.


Mistaken, wrong, incorrect, etc.


Together, joined, etc.


Before, prior to, in front of, etc.


Change meaning to the negative form of the original


To, towards, joining, etc.


Against, in opposition of something, etc.


Self, same, spontaneous, etc.


All, union of branches


Through, completely, going apart, etc.


New, fresh, young, etc.


Behind, after, later, etc.


Away from


Twice, two


Together, jointly, mutually


Confine something in a place, etc.


Before, in front, superior


Before, backwards


Distance, measuring distance


To exist


Without, lacking, not

Prefix de-

The prefix de- is of Latin origin. It is used to indicate privation, removal, separation, negation, descent, reversal, or intensity. The prefix de- is also added to verbs in order for them to mean the opposite of what they originally mean.


  • Decide, dehumidify, degrade, detract, deduce, decompose, decentralize, desensitize, deconstruct, demoralize, defrost, destroy, etc.ย 

Prefix inter-

The prefix inter- comes from Latin. It describes something that is between, among, in the midst of, mutual, reciprocated, together, or active during an event. The prefix can be used to modify various types of words.


  • Interact, intercede, interlude, intercept, intersect, intercom, interim, interject, intermediate, international, internet, interrupt, intertwine, interview, etc.

Prefix pro-

Pro- is a very versatile prefix. It is used to describe an affinity for something. It can also describe priority in space and time, as well as denoting advancing, or indicating substitution.ย 


  • Pro-British, pro-Communist, proactive, provision, prologue, proceed, produce, protract, procrastinate, proactive, prohibit, provoke, pronounce, etc.

Prefix ex-

The prefix ex- is simple to use, because it is most commonly hyphenated. It means out of, from, utterly, thoroughly, not, or without, and can indicate a former status or title.


  • Ex-wife, ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-member, ex-president, ex-convict, exodus, exhume, ex-husband, ex-Christian, etc.

Prefix un-

The prefix un- is simple to use because it only means not. It can be attached to all forms of words in order for them to mean the opposite of what they originally do.


  • Unfair, unemployed, unseen, unfeeling, uninformed, undisputed, unheard, unrest, unable, unhappy, uncooked, unzip, etc.

Prefix re-

The prefix re- is originally from Latin. It means again, or describes something that is being repeated, and it can also mean back, or backwards to denote a regression.


  • Regenerate, refurbish, reimburse, revert, retract, retype, reconsider, revolt, renew, reveal, redistribute, reconcile, restock, etc.

Prefix mis-

Mis- is a very versatile prefix, and can be applied to many different types of words. It means ill, mistaken, wrong, incorrect, and in general has a negative context.


  • Mistake, mishap, misinformed, misaligned, misspell, misread, misuse, mispronounce, mishear, mistrial, misprint, mistrust, misbehavior, etc.

Prefix con-

The prefix con- is used with nouns, adjectives, and some verbs. It means together, joined, as well as denoting a group of people, ideas, or things.


  • Confirm, congregation, congenial, console, converge, consult, confederation, conjoined, conjecture, confluence, contingent, conflate, etc.

Prefix pre-

The prefix pre- stems from Latin, and it is applied to various different words. It means before, predating, prior to, in advance of, or in front of.


  • Prelude, preset, prevent, prepay, preschool, prewar, prefrontal, prenatal, predetermined, prehistoric, pretrial, preheat, precaution, etc.

Prefix im-

The prefix im- is a negative prefix, which means it is used to change the meaning of a word into a negative. It can be applied to many different types of words, most notably nouns and adjectives.


  • Impossible, impatient, imperfect, immature, impurity, impartially, immobilized, immaculate, impassive, imperil, etc.

Prefix ad-

The prefix ad- comes from Latin. It means towards, to, with regard to, or in relation to. It can also describe addition, or joining.


  • Administer, advertise, adhere, addition, adrenal, admonish, adgerminal, addental, adoral, adjoin, etc.

Prefix anti-

The prefix anti- means against, opposite of, or in opposition of something. It is used to form compound words that mean the opposite of their original meaning. It is also commonly hyphenated.


  • Antiseptic, anti-hero, antidote, antifreeze, antisocial, antiviral, antibiotic, antibody, antiwar, anti-government, antisocial, antiaircraft, etc.

Prefix auto-

The prefix auto- means self, same, spontaneous, or self-sufficient. It is used to create compound words, and can be used on various types of words.


  • Autobiography, automotive, autopilot, autograph, automobile, automatic, autonomy, autocratic, autocorrect, autodidact, etc.

Prefix pan-

The prefix pan- comes from Greek. It means all, and it implies the union of branches or groups. It is often hyphenated, and can be used to create various compound words.


  • Panacea, panoply, pantheism, pantonality, pan-Christian, pan-Slavic, panorama, pansexual, pan-African, etc.

Prefix dia-

The prefix dia- stems from Greek. It means passing through, thoroughly, completely, going apart, or opposed in the moment. It is a very diverse prefix and is used in different compound words.


  • Diabetes, dialect, diabolic, diagnosis, dialysis, diagram, diaspora, dialogue, diaper, diarrhea, diameter, diagonal, etc.

Prefix neo-

The prefix neo- comes from Greek. It means new, fresh, young, or recent. It is often hyphenated, and can be used to create various compound words.


  • Neolithic, neo-Baroque, neoformative, neonatal, neo-socialist, neoclassical, neoclassicism, neo-fascist, neoglacial, neo-Hellenic, neocosmic, etc.ย 

Prefix post-

The prefix post- comes from Latin. It means behind, after, later, subsequent to. It is used in various compound words, and it can be often hyphenated.


  • Postdoctoral, postscript, postmodern, postgraduate, post-Victorian, postcolonial, post-coital, posthumous, postpone, postwar, post-Elizabethan, posterior, etc.

Prefix ab-

The prefix ab- comes from Latin. It is a simple prefix and it means away from. Itโ€™s used commonly in with various types of words.


  • Abdicate, absolve, absolute, absorb, abject, abhor, abjure, abort, absorb, abnormal, abrasive, abominable, ablation, etc.

Prefix bi-

The prefix bi- is very simple and it means twice, or two. It is used in various compound words.


  • Biracial, biceps, biannual, bilingual, bipedal, billion, binoculars, bicycle, bipartisan, bisect, bimonthly, bicarbonate, bifurcate, etc.

Prefix co-

The prefix co- means together, jointly, or mutually, and it is used with various nouns, adjectives, or verbs. It can also be hyphenated sometimes.


  • Cohabitation, coauthor, copilot, co-conspirator, co-manage, coexist, coaxial, co-captain, co-creator, co-anchor, etc.

Prefix en-

The prefix en- stems mainly from French. It means to confines something in a place, or to gather in a place, as well as to cause something or someone o be in a specific place. It is a very versatile prefix used in many different compound words.


  • Enslave, entrust, enthrone, entomb, enshrine, encircle, enclose, entwine, encapsulate, entangle, enable, endear, encase, etc.

Prefix fore-

The prefix fore- is fairly simple, and it means before, in front, or superior. It is used with various types of words.


  • Forehead, forefront, forecast, forefathers, foreman, foremost, foreground, foreshadow, foresee, foreword, forebode, etc.

Prefix retro-

The prefix retro- comes from Latin. It means before, or backwards. It is commonly used with various types of words.


  • Retroactive, retrograde, retrospective, retrogress, retrorocket, retroscape, retroglossal, retrogene, retrodiagnose, etc.

Prefix tele-

The prefix tele- means distant, or refers to a transmission over distance. It is most commonly used with nouns and adjectives.


  • Television, telesales, telephone, teleplay, telegraph, telemarketing, teleguide, telegram, telekinesis, telemonitor, etc.

Prefix be-

Be-, as a separate word, means to exist. Be- as a suffix comes from Old English, and has been used in the English language ever since. It was first used in the formation of verbs, but has since expanded in use.


  • Befriend, bewitch, besiege, beguile, become, berate, bejewel, bewail, bedazzle etc.

Prefix an-

An- is another Old English prefix. It is used to shift words into a negative meaning. This means that the words usually describe something without, lacking, or just simply means not.


  • Anoxia, anastral, anegoic, anethical, anhistorical, aniconic, anisomeric, anisotomic, anotia, anuria, etc.


What are the prefix words?

Prefixes are words that donโ€™t mean anything on their own. They only serve to change the meaning of the word they are attached to. Prefixes, because of that, are not really words.

Prefixes are attached to the start of other words.


  • DIS-

DISbelief, DISpleasure, DISconnect

DIS, by itself, does not mean anything. When itโ€™s combined with another word it changes the meaning.

Some prefixed are words that have a meaning on their own, but they are short and can be attached to other words.

Words with the prefix for?

The prefix for is very old, and it comes from Scandinavian languages. It was adopted by the English language and has been used for ages. Usually, the prefix for is added to words when they are supposed to describe something that ends up being worse than it started.

Many words that have the prefix for are old, and are not used very commonly today.


  • Forbear, forbuy, forcut, fordo, forswearer, forgather, forhang, forlet, forlive, forset, forslow, forstop, fortear, fortread, forwarn, forwork, etc.

Other words are used in English regularly, and the prefix has been integrated into the word. In some words an E has been added between the suffix and the rest of the word. In other modern versions the prefix has remained the same


  • Forebode, forego, forefather, forbidden, forsake, foreshadow, foreskin, forsworn

Prefix Herbicide

Prefix herbicide is an American product that is manufactured in the US, and used to treat various types of grass. It is a selective herbicide and can be applied to different types of grassy terrain, as well as come crops. PREFIX is the name of manufacturer.

Are prefix allowed in scrabble?

Prefixes by themselves are not allowed in Scrabble. This means that just putting any prefix such as post-, pre-, neo-, eb-, or others, is not allowed.

However, you can use words that are built with prefixes. Only complete words are allowed in Scrabble. This means that you can use postmodernism, instead of just modernism.

Can prefix be a noun / verb / plural?

Prefixes as grammatical elements are not complete words. They cannot be any type of word except a prefix. Prefixes are used to change words and are always added to another type of words.

The only case when prefixes are complete words is when two or more words are hyphenated together. Some examples are jet-black, tar-runway, hot-blooded, and others. In this case,ย two full words are connected with a hyphen.

Prefix and Postfix

Prefix and postfix are terms used in programming and coding. They are connected to operators and operands. Each appears in a different situation, and achieves different results.

A prefix is an expression where the operator appears in the expression before the operands. This is then called a prefix expression.

A postfix appears in an expression when the operator appears in the expression after the operands. This is then called a postfix expression.

Prefix and postfix expressions are used in C++, Java, and C#.

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suffix place๐Ÿ‘‰ Suffixesย 

A suffix is a letter or a group of letters that is usually attached to the end of a word to form a new word, as well as alter the way it functions grammatically.

Words with Suffixes

Depending on whether it is a noun, verb, adjective or adverb, a different suffix would be required. For example, the verb read can be altered to become the noun reader by adding the suffix ยญ-er. The same verb can also be turned into the adjective readable by adding the suffix –able.

It is just as important to understand the definitions of suffixes as prefixes, because they too help us to deduce the meanings of any new words that we learn. I have listed some of the most common suffixes below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ Suffix Examples

-acystate or qualitydemocracy, accuracy, lunacy
-althe action or process ofremedial, denial, trial, criminal
-ance, -encestate or quality ofnuisance, ambience, tolerance
-domplace or state of beingfreedom, stardom, boredom
-er, -orperson or object that does a specified actionreader, creator, interpreter, inventor, collaborator, teacher
-ismdoctrine, beliefJudaism, scepticism, escapism
-istperson or object that does a specified actionGeologist, protagonist, sexist, scientist, theorist, communist
-ity, -tyquality ofextremity, validity, enormity
-mentconditionenchantment, argument
-nessstate of beingheaviness, highness, sickness
-shipposition heldfriendship, hardship, internship
-sion, -tionstate of beingposition, promotion, cohesion
-atebecomemediate, collaborate, create
-enbecomesharpen, strengthen, loosen
-ify, -fymake or becomejustify, simplify, magnify, satisfy
-ise, -izebecomepublicise, synthesise, hypnotise
-able, -iblecapable of beingedible, fallible, incredible, audible
-alhaving the form or character offiscal, thermal, herbal, colonial
-esquein a manner of or resemblingpicturesque, burlesque, grotesque
-fulnotable forhandful, playful, hopeful, skilful
-ic, -icalhaving the form or character ofpsychological, hypocritical, methodical, nonsensical, musical
-ious, -ouscharacterised bypious, jealous, religious, ridiculous
-ishhaving the quality ofsqueamish, sheepish, childish
-ivehaving the nature ofinquisitive, informative, attentive
-lesswithoutmeaningless, hopeless, homeless
-ycharacterised bydainty, beauty, airy, jealousy
-lyrelated to or qualitysoftly, slowly, happily, crazily, madly
-ward, -wardsdirectiontowards, afterwards, backwards, inward
-wisein relation tootherwise, likewise, clockwise

So as you can see, affixes can dramatically change the definitions of words. Knowing the various prefixes and suffixes along with their meanings can really help you to understand how words are used, and also how they should be spelled.

Although these groups of letters (affixes) are important and assist with forming words, they are not words in their own right and cannot stand alone in a sentence.

If they are printed or written alone, then they should have a hyphen before or after them to demonstrate that they are to be attached to other letters to form words (the way I have listed them in the above tables).



Medicine โ€“ meaning: infection, inflammation


Medicine โ€“ meaning: have a condition


Medicine โ€“ meaning: deficiency


Medicine and biology โ€“ meaning: condition, procedures, etc.


Science and medicine โ€“ meaning: various branches of science


Biology and science โ€“ meaning: decomposition, loosening, etc.


Biology โ€“ meaning: infection, condition, state, etc.


Medicine โ€“ meaning: surgical puncture

suffixes for pain

Medicine and biology

Suffix -itis

The suffix –itis is commonly used in medicine. It describes a type of infection, condition, inflammation, or some medical diagnoses.


  • Appendicitis, arthritis, barotitis, bronchitis, cerebritis, colitis, conjunctivitis, encephalitis, gastritis, hepatitis, meningitis, etc.

Suffix -pathy

The suffix -pathy comes from Greek, and is commonly used in medicine. It means to suffer from a disease, or have a condition.


  • Biopathy, cerebropathy, colopathy, dyspathy, eupathy, genopathy, homeopathy, immunopathy, leucopathy, mazopathy, neuropathy, osteopathy, stomatopathy, etc.

Suffix -penia

The suffix -penia is common in medicine. It means to have a deficiency of something.


  • Calcipenia, cytopenia, enzymopenia, kaliopenia, lipopenia, neutropenia, sarcopenia, sideropenia, etc.

Suffix -tomy / -otomy

The suffixes -tomy or -otomy are often used in biology and medicine. They refer to medical conditions, diagnoses, procedures, or operations.


  • Anatomy, autotomy, craniotomy, episiotomy, hysterotomy, laparotomy, lobotomy, tracheotomy, polytomy, rumenotomy, tenotomy, uvulotomy, etc.

Suffix -logy

The suffix –logy is commonly used in sciences, and medicine. It refers to various branches of science, or to a body of knowledge. It can also denote collection of stories and discourses.


  • Trilogy, duology, mythology, archaeology, anthropology, theology, paleontology, toxicology, gynecology, biology, Egyptology, ethnology, neurology, etc.

Suffix -lysis

The suffix -lysis of common biology, various sciences, and academics in general. It refers to decomposition, loosening, breaking down, separation, or decomposition.


  • Analysis, adipolysis, dermolysis, biolysis, catalysis, dialysis, plasmolysis, radiolysis, tenolysis, sonolysis, virolysis, streptolysis, etc.

Suffix -osis

-Osis is a very common suffix in biology. -Osis means to be infected with something, or means a condition, state, abnormal process, and disease.


  • Asbestosis, cyanosis, fibrosis, hypnosis, ketosis, mitosis, neurosis, osteoporosis, psychosis, stenosis, thrombosis, tuberculosis, etc.

Suffix -centisis

General surgical punctures are described with the suffix -centisis. This suffix is used to denote that a specific part of the body has been surgically punctured. It can be used with almost any body part.


  • Abdominocentisis, paracentesis, arthrocentesis, celiocentesis, lumbarocentesis, thoracentesis, etc.

Suffixes for Pain

In order to describe pain through the use of a suffix you can use any medical suffix to present the condition. There is no specific suffix that denotes a type of pain. Instead, you can use a variety of suffixes to describe a specific type of condition, or pain in a specific area.

Suffix examples:

  • -algia, -cardia, -emia, -itis, -lysis, -oma, -osis, -pathy, etc.

Word examples:

  • Fibromyalgia, neuralgia, tachycardia, enamia, hypoglycemia, arthritis, meningitis, paralysis, blastoma, glaucoma, proctosis, neuropathy, etc.


Names can have suffixes depending on the personโ€™s academic honors, religious affiliation, political title, or family status.

Academic honors examples:

  • Bachelorโ€™s degree: John Doe, A.B, B.A., B.A., Hons, B.S., B.E., B.F.A., B.Tech., L.L.B, B.Sc., etc.
  • Masterโ€™s degree: John Doe, M.A., M.S., M.F.A., LL.M, M.L.A., M.B.A., M.Sc., M.Eng etc.
  • Professional doctorate: John Doe, J.D., M.D., D.O., Pharm.D., D.Min., etc.
  • Academic doctorate: John Doe, Ph.D., Ed.D., D.Phil., D.B.A., LL.D, Eng.D., etc.

Political and religious title examples:

  • Order of the British Empire: John Doe, O.B.E
  • Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire: John Doe, K.B.E
  • Doctor of Divinity: John Doe, D.D.
  • Esquire: John Doe, Esq.
  • Attorney: John Doe, CSA

The suffix Jr. is used after names. It means that a person is the offspring of a father with the same name. Some famous examples are Martin Luther King Jr., Cuba Gooding Jr. Sammy Davis Jr., John F. Kennedy Jr. and others.

Family status examples:

  • John Doe, Jr.
  • John Doe, Sr.



Practice, action, principle, etc.


Form of possession


Kind of, pertaining to, etc.


Specific action, specific value, doctrine, etc.


Capability, susceptible of, fit for, etc.


Something has a characteristic of something else


Action, condition


Action or result of something


Past tense, adjectives from nouns or verbs, compound verbs


Repeated in intervals


Actions, results


Quality, state


Specific action, job, origin, etc.


Group of people, office, institution, etc.

Pertaining to

-as, -al, -ar, -ary. -ic, -ical, -ous, and -ile

Suffix -ism

The -ism suffix comes from Ancient Greek. It is used to form action nouns from verbs. They mean some kind of practice, action, principles, doctrines, devotion, adherence, etc.


  • Baptism, aphorism, criticism, Lutherism, Protestantism, Palamism, atheism, fanaticism, capitalism, nationalism, romanticism, vegetarianism, Atticism, Americanism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, daturism, rheumatism, etc.

Suffix -ous

The suffix -ous is used for adjectives. It means that something is full, or a form of possession. It also means that something has a given quality.


  • Dangerous, famous, various, enormous, courageous, jealous, glorious, superfluous, obvious, hideous, tremendous, curious, etc.

Suffix -al

The suffix -al is commonly used to make adjectives out of nouns. It means kid of, pertaining to, having a form or character of something.


  • Seasonal, sensual, official, commercial, individual, spiritual, annual, essential, celestial, usual, racial, intellectual, financial, classical, etc.

Suffix -ist

The suffix –ist is used for nouns. It means a person who performs a specific action, produces something specific, plays a specific instrument, holds a specific value, has a specific doctrine, and others.


  • Archaeologist, activist, evangelist, anthropologist, capitalist, communist, Marxist, fascist, nationalist, conformist, machinist, novelist, cyclist, masochist, etc.

Suffix -able

The suffix -able is commonly used for adjectives. I refers to someone or something that is capable of something, susceptible of, fit for, tending or given to something.


  • Movable, amendable, breakable, flammable, amicable, pleasurable, impressionable, payable, reportable, detestable, capable, punishable, fashionable, taxable, etc.

Suffix -ic

The suffix -ic is used to create adjectives out of other words. It originally comes from Greek and Latin, and it means that something, or someone, has the characteristic of something else.


  • Acidic, episodic, comedic, melodic, nomadic, periodic, idiotic, psychotic, patriotic, athletic, poetic, magnetic, emphatic, kinetic, prosthetic, chaotic, narcotic, academic, economic, etc.

Suffix -ion

The suffix -ion is of Latin origin. It denotes and action or condition, and it is often used to form nouns out of adjectives.


  • Acceleration, devotion, religion, ration, concentration, communion, diffusion, delusion, illusion, fabrication, hydration, meditation, infusion, levitation, gestation, reaction, invigoration, etc.

Suffix -tion

The suffix –tion is used to form nouns. They mean an action of something, or the result of something.ย 


  • Deletion, ignition, determination, resolution, action, justification, intersection, connection, gumption, communication, starvation, construction, relation, temptation, revolution, etc.

Suffix -ed

The suffix -ed is very versatile. It can be used in three different ways: 1) to form the past tense for weak verbs, 2) to form adjectives out of nouns or verbs to describe someone or something, 3) added to nouns or verbs in order to form compound adjectives that are hyphenated.


  • 1) Acted, danced, posted, lived, wanted, hated, played, tried, named, called, walked, talked, used, created, etc.
  • 2) bearded, colored, angered, triggered, used, rugged, incorporated, incarcerated, floored, stoned, etc.
  • 3) cone-shaped, green-tinted, loose-fitted, off-handed, amateur-produced, well-defined, etc.

Suffix -ly

The suffix -ly is added to various words depending on the purpose. It can be added to adverbs to form adjectives, or to nouns in order for them to mean something that is repeated in certain intervals.


  • Gladly, gradually, secondly, thirdly, essentially, boldly, bravely, carefully, generously, lowly, shortly, angrily, anxiously, suddenly, generally, etc.
  • Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly

Suffix -ness

The suffix -ness is very common and is used often. It is used on adjectives and principles, in order to create abstract nouns that denote a quality or a state.


  • Happiness, kindness, darkness, preparedness, consciousness, effectiveness, callousness, laziness, loneliness, ugliness, fitness, dryness, baldness, etc.

Suffix -er

The suffix -er is used in many different ways, and is a common suffix in English. It can be attached to verbs in order to create an agent noun that describes a person doing a specific action. It can also be used to create nouns that describe a personโ€™s job, location or origin, or a special characteristic.


  • Caterer, Icelander, southerner, villager, tattooer, cobbler, reader, rapper, creditor, auditor, editor, recruiter, rider, writer, educator, calculator, spectator, infiltrator, catcher, staffer, etc.

Suffix -ate

The suffix -ate is added often to nouns, adjective, and verbs. When it is added to nouns it denotes a group of people, an office or institution, or administrative region. When it is added to verbs it changes the verb to mean that something is caused to change. When added to adjectives it means that something is showing or full of something.


  • Electorate, caliphate, protectorate, consulate, magistrate, regulate, vacate, activate, disseminate, obfuscate, confiscate, passionate, considerate, obstinate, celibate, etc.

Suffixes that mean Pertaining To

There are multiple suffixes that mean something pertains to something else. These are: -as, -al, -ar, -ary. -ic, -ical, -ous, and -ile. Some words incorporate more than one suffix.


  • Clinical, surgical, conscious, versatile, necessary, sub-par, etc.


What does Bank account Suffix mean?

Account numbersย and card numbers are divided into sections. While the prefix denotes the bank issuing the card, the body is the account numbers, and the suffix is the account type.

The suffix is important because it lets the bank know which type of account is being used, and that way customers canโ€™t access operations not approved for the type of account. The suffix is made up of two to three numbers.

Different numbers describe a different type of account. There are various types of accounts, and each has a unique number profile for a specific bank.


  • Cheque account โ€“ 00, Number 2 account โ€“ 02, Fixed account โ€“ 03, Savings account โ€“ 30, Credit card account โ€“ 40, Thrift club account โ€“ 50, Term deposit account โ€“ 81

Recommended for you:
How to Remember Rules of Grammar, Idioms and Vocabulary
Use of Modal Verbs in English Grammar

๐Ÿ‘‰ Combining Forms

When you are learning the different types of prefixes, it is important to remember that not every word containing these combinations is a prefix. Sometimes words have โ€˜combining formsโ€™, which look very similar to prefixes but work differently!

Let me explainโ€ฆ.

As you know, a prefix is a letter or a group of letters that appears at the beginning of words, but it can also be removed from the base word, and the word would still be a word without it, even if the meaning changes.

For example, non- means โ€˜notโ€™ or โ€˜withoutโ€™, this is used in words such as โ€˜nonsenseโ€™. The word ‘sense‘ can be separated from the prefix and it would still be a word on its own, even if the meaning is different.

Combining forms are similar to prefixes, and are sometimes known as โ€˜chameleon prefixesโ€™, because they act like them and appear at the beginning of words like them, BUT the combining form is intrinsic to the word, meaning it is a part of the word and cannot be removed.

They are called โ€˜chameleonsโ€™, because they change their spelling and physical form to suit the word they are attached to!

So, combining forms act as prefixes but are different, because the remaining letters cannot be separatedย to form an independent word.

Here are some examples of prefixes that are also โ€˜combining formsโ€™:

com-, con-with, alongsidecomprise, connotecom-, con-with, jointlycompanion, comrade, community
contra-againstcontraindicatecontra-againstcontraceptive, contradict
de-oppositedevaluede-down, awaydescend
a-not, withoutamorala-, an-not, withoutapathy, anaemic
in-notinconvenientin-intoinebriate, indulge
homo-samehomograph, homophonehomo-samehomogeneous
magn-greatmagnatemagn-greatmagnificent, magnanimous, magnitude, magnify
para-besideparagraph, paramedicpara-besideparadox
trans-acrosstransnational, transparenttrans-through, acrosstransmit, transcend
tri-threetriangle, tripodtri-threetriceps, triathlon

Recommended for you:
List of Words With 17 Silent Letters in English
Punctuation Marks – Quotation Marks – Question Mark

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i want to learn more words


Could anyone tell me a book which explain about affixes such prefix and suffix comprehensively? need for my thesis references.


[gratuitously] Really?

You're putting forth a thesis but you haven't done enough writing to understand the structure of the language in which you're writing? Anyone who has done 3 or 4 years of university should have hundreds of essays written and already have a command of the language. The fact you're asking for help suggests you are nowhere near writing a thesis.

Anyways, here's some references:
English Grammar For Dummies,
3rd Edition,
ISBN: 9781119376590 or 9781119376590


Practice Makes Perfect: English Grammar For ESL Learners,
Third Edition,
ISBN: 9781260120936


The world needs kind people. Try it.


can someone subscribe to my youtube channel if so it is UnKnowN Reaper thanks and how do i find the sufix's for biological terms if any one can reply soon that would be helpful thanks

Anastasia Koltai

There are biological suffixes as well on this list.


Good notes. Keep it up! Our English best teacher.

Anastasia Koltai



I'm an English teacher

chandni malhotra

Thanks for lovely lesson โคโค


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Anastasia Koltai

So happy to hear that! โค๏ธ


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Love this website?


In which Universe is ^this^ a "BIG" list?

The blatant paucity of this list suggests it is nothing more than click-bait.


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Bryan Jonathan

Hello my name is bryan, thank you for such a nice lesson i learned alot but i wud really like to ask a question conserning combining forms as you said they are words which cannot stand alone but from wat see if i remove dis-from disappear the word appear still remain as a complete word and has a complete meaning the same applies to disagree, homo sexual e.t.c i wud love to know what you meant exactly.....Thank you!!"