The Polyglot's Playground ...and for Students of the Universe
Home About Contact FAQs Students Teachers Expats What's New?

  

Leon's Planet
on the web since 1997

Learn about the history of Leon's Planet.
Please
Support Leon's Planet

Learn why.
Expats
'R'
We
C.A.P.E.

Computerized-Adaptive Placement Exam for English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese, and ESL.  Used by over 400 universities in the USA and 600 institutions worldwide!
NOW: WEB-BASED!
Click Here to learn more.
Ads
for this website

Paid ads

and free ads

Click here

PUBLIC SERVICE:

Let's make this world a better place.

Click on one of the links below to see how you can make a difference in this world.


Unicef

Leon's
Internal Links
(below)

Leon's Planet...


Leon's Planet...


Leon's Planet
presents:

"SEE the WORLD
and
GET PAID to do it!" 


TEACH ABROAD

Leon's Blogs

Building English Vocabulary

...Through Morphemes / Etymology

Foreword:

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:

Encyclopedia
There are four morphemes in that word:

Encyclopedia =
[>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"

Morphemes
(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]

Examples:

"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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 
vest  [of Latin origin, meaning: cloth]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

veracity = truth
verily = truly
veritable = true

 
vent  [of Latin origin, meaning come]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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")

Examples:

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

 
ultra  [of Latin origin, meaning above]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

tempest = storm
temperature = heat of the weather

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 

syn  [of Greek origin, meaning: together]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 
stell  [of Latin origin, meaning: star]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 
sol  [of Latin origin, meaning: sun]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

recede =
re
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]

Examples:

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"]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

"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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 
pan  [of Greek origin, meaning: all]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

organ = a musical instrument that uses a bellows and pipes

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

nov  [of Latin origin, meaning: new]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

metabolism = changes on a cellular level (speed thereof)
meta
morph = an organism that can change shape at will
meta
morphic = changing shape
meta
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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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)]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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)]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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")

Examples:

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")

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

hyperactive = over active
hyperthermia = over heating

 
hydro  [of Greek origin, meaning: water]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

Diagnosis = [dia (apart) + gnosis (knowledge)]  knowledge of that which is apart from the norm (for doctors)
Gnost
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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 

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

Examples:

edict [e + dictare (say, speak)] to speak out a rule
e
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
e
loquent [e + loqui (speaking, locution)]  (a.) speaking very well
elude [e + luz (light)] (v.) to go out of the light.... escape from~
e
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
ex
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.
ex
ecute [ex + sequi (follow)]  (v.t.) to follow a plan, or an order
and many more.

exo~  [of Greek origin, meaning: outside]

Examples:

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"]

Examples:

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"

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

different [di (2) + fer (bear, carry) + ent (a.)]  bearing (carrying) 2 separate qualities (not the same)
di
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:

disappear
disappoint
disaster
discard
discern
discharge
discourse
discriminate
disease
disembowel
disfigure
disgust
dishearten
dishonest
dishonor
etc.

 

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

Examples:

diagnosis [dia + gnosis (knowledge)] the doctor's knowledge of a patient's condition
dia
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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

courier [French: runner] a person who runs errands (for other people; and usually for money)
current
[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]

Examples:

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}

Examples:

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
etc...

 

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

Examples:

contraband = [contra + band (decree)] = illegal goods
contra
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)]

Examples:

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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)

etc.

 

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 

circulo  [from >Latin, meaning:  circle]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

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

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 
auto  [from > Greek, meaning: self]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 

 

aqua = [from >Latin, meaning: water]

Examples:

AquaMan = the superhero that can swim and breathe under water
aqua
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)]

Examples: 

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]

Examples:

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]

Examples:

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

 

*** 

 Please visit my OTHER Vocab ( morphemes) Page