Not latin root


The table on this page lists over 100 root words. It gives their
meanings, examples of English words made from them, and the pages
on EnglishHints where you can study and practice them.

This table also serves as
an index to the pages where you can learn English words from Latin and Greek

More than 80 of these roots are from Latin. (Many are from Latin via
French— the biggest source of English words after Old English).

The root words that
come from Greek have an asterisk (*) in front of them. (Many Latin words also
originally came from Greek. These are the ones that came more directly, or kept
their Greek form.)

  1. How Root Words Can Help You Learn English
  2. How to Decode New English Words
  3. Root Form & Spelling Differences
  4. Root Words, Meanings,Examples, & Practice Pages
  5. A — D
  6. F — L
  7. M — R
  8. S — V
  9. 50+ Latin Word Rootsto Multiply your English Word Power!
  10. Demonstration with the Latin verb mittere- ‘to send
  11. More words from mittere plus prefixes:
  12. ad-: ‘to’ or ‘toward’ + mittere— send to (This is mostly used now for sending a message of acceptance):
  13. com-: ‘with’ or ‘together’ + mittere— send with, send together:
  14. dis-: not, apart + mittere— send apart:
  15. ex-, e-: out + mittere— send out:
  16. ob-, o-: ‘against’ or ‘over’ + mittere— overlook or not do or send:
  17. per-: ‘through’ + mittere— send through, allow
  18. pro-: ‘before’ + mittere— to send or say before:
  19. re-: ‘back’ + mittere— send back:
  20. sub-: under + mittere— to send under:
  21. trans-: across or through + mittere— to send through or across:
  22. English Words from Other Latin Roots
  23. A — D
  24. F-G
  25. H-L
  26. M-P
  27. R-S
  28. T-V
  29. Practice These Word Roots— & More
  30. How to Use This Page
  31. Why Are There Different Word Forms?
  32. Cedere- to Go, Depart, or Yield
  33. Ducere— to Lead
  34. Quaerere- to seek (look for)
  35. Tenere- to hold
  36. Venire- to come
  37. Vertere- to turn
  38. Vocare- to call (+ vox- voice, & vocabulum- a word)
  39. Matching Practice
  40. Cranial nerve roots
  41. Spinal nerve roots
  42. Pain and pathologies
  43. Lower limb radiculopathies
  44. Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes Definition
  45. Roots Definition
  46. Suffix Definition
  47. Prefix Definition
  48. Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes Example
  49. Latin Roots Examples
  50. Latin Suffixes Examples
  51. Latin Prefixes Examples
  52. Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes Words
  53. Latin Roots and English Words
  54. Latin Suffixes and English Words
  55. Latin Prefixes and English Words
  56. The Influence of Latin on English
  57. Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes Review
  58. Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes — Key Takeaways

How Root Words Can
Help You Learn English

Image of a tree with roots, & text: "Over 100 Greek & Latin roots with meanings, examples, & links to pages to study & practice them."

Recognizing word roots can increase your reading
comprehension as well as your vocabulary. 

I started the roots and prefix section of EnglishHints after noticing
how much important vocabulary comes
from a fairly small group of Latin roots.

(They dominate the Academic Word List
and lists of frequent TOEFL words. Many are quite common in non-academic writing
as well.)

If you know prefixes and a root’s meaning, you can often
guess unknown English words that come from that root.

A few of the most common prefixes
and their meanings are listed below, to help you figure out word meanings.

can also check the List of Prefixes for a more complete list. (Greek and Latin Prefixes has a reverse list alphabetized by their meanings in English.)

  • ad- (or a-): toward
  • ab- : away from
  • com-/con-/co- : with
  • ex- (or e-) : out
  • in-, im-, il- : in, inside, OR not (Inactive means not
    active; immobile means not moveable)
  • pre-: before
  • pro-:  forward
  • post- : after, behind
  • re-: again or backward
  • sub-:  under
  • trans-: across or through
  • un-: not

For example, the Latin root cedere (and its English forms -cede, –ceed, or -cess) mean to go. The root gradi (-gress) means to step.

So the
English word precede means to go before. Process (& procedure) are the way
to do something— to cause it to go forward. A procession is (a lot of people) going
forward. Progress and progression are forward steps, Recede, recession,  regress, and regression all refer to going backward.

How to Decode New
English Words

The root words table below can help you decode English
words you don’t know. (To decode can mean to translate a secret code into
ordinary speech. It also means to look at the pieces of a word to figure out
its possible meaning.)

To decode an English word, drop its prefixes and suffixes
to find its root. (Take away the prefixes above and any others you recognize.
Also remove word endings like -ing, -tion, -ly, -ment, or –ness.) So the root of ‘demobilize’ is ‘mobil(e),’ and the root of ‘extractible’ is ‘tract.’

Then check this table to find the root word’s meaning and pages to practice it and learn
other, related words. (Many of those pages also explain meanings that have
moved away from the root meaning over time.)

Root Form & Spelling Differences

You might notice that some roots have several forms. I’ve tried to put the variant English forms in parentheses when they are quite different.

For example, the Latin root videre, to see, has English derivatives like ‘video’ and ‘evidence.’  But it also has ‘visual’ and ‘invisible’—from another form (the past participle) of videre. So after videre I added (vis). 

Claudere (to close) is the root of include, inclusive, exclude and exclusive. I added (clus) after the verb name so you can see the second common base form. Pellere— to drive— often has a base form (puls). It’s the root of impel, impulse, repel, and repulsive, among others.

Vowels also often change. Au turns to u in claudere, above. Ae changes to e (or i) in aequare (equal, equity, and iniquity) or quaerere (quest,  inquire, and inquisitive.)

Root Words, Meanings,Examples, & Practice Pages

A — D

* Remember, you can find the practice page names and links on the pink page abbreviations’ list just above the table. 

F — L

M — R

S — V

Go to the list of abbreviations and page links if you want to practice any root.

Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes  has links to all the root words’ explanation and
practice pages. It also links to prefix and suffix lists. If you would like to
study the roots that contribute the most to English, start with:  

Photo of a soccer game with two opposing teams

So many English words come from the Latin root ponere (pon- or pos-) For example: The opposing team imposed their will until they exposed their weakness.

Picture of sunflowers with text: Words from the Latin roots for bending & stretching: deflect, flexible, & reflection, attentive (stretching toward someone), distended, extend, & tension...

More English roots— from Latin verbs of motion: attract (pull towards), & retract from the Latin root meaning ‘pull;’  compel, compulsive, expel, & repulsive from the root for ‘driven’— and more.

picture of an old Greek temple (the Parthenon)

Learn and practice the Greek roots most commonly used in English (from tele: far and graph: writing to psych: soul and logy: study of). 

If you’re interested in teaching roots, check out the inexpensive lessons and practice activities on Root, Prefix, and Suffix Worksheets.

HomeRoots, Prefixes, and Suffixes> Latin & Greek Root Words.

Didn’t find what you
needed? Explain what you want in the search box below.
(For example, cognates, past tense practice, or ‘get along with.’) Click to see the related pages on EnglishHints.


50+ Latin Word Rootsto Multiply your English Word Power!

The great majority of words in an English dictionary have Latin word roots. (Many came into English from Old French.) That’s especially true of words used in academic or professional writing.  

A tree in fall color with its roots exposed, and the message "These 50+ word roots can help you learn over 370 English words (just on this page!)"

Learning the most common word roots (and a few prefixes and suffixes)  will help you recognize or at least guess at thousands of these
academic words.

This will help you do well on tests, in
college courses, and in business. You will also find English reading
more enjoyable. It’s a fascinating study!

The list below includes over 50 Latin word roots, each with a few
examples of the English words that come from it.

I chose them for two reasons. They’re the base for important English vocabulary AND their English meanings are still close to the root meanings. (Why study roots if the words derived from them no longer have similar meanings?)

Look at the prefixes and
suffixes attached to each word root, and see if you can guess the
English meanings. I also included several negative forms. If no negative is given, you can make almost any other adjective negative with ‘un-.’ (For a detailed explanation and more examples, see Negative Prefix List.)

The list begins with a demonstration of how prefixes can be added to a word root to change its meaning. I used the root ‘mittere,’ since it takes so many prefixes.

Demonstration with the Latin verb mittere- ‘to send

  • missile, n. (noun)- a weapon (often a rocket) sent through the air
  • mission, n.- the task one is sent to complete
    (or a church building used by missionaries)
  • missionary, n.- someone sent by a church to a foreign land

More words from mittere plus prefixes:

ad-: ‘to’ or ‘toward’ + mittere— send to
(This is mostly used now for sending a message of acceptance):

  • admissible, adj.— something or someone that can be accepted. (The negative is inadmissible.)
  • admission, n.— acceptance into a school, organization, or program (OR acceptance of blame)
  • admit, v.— to allow into a group (OR to agree something is true: “He admitted he had made a mistake.”)
  • admittance, n.— acceptance into a program

com-: ‘with’ or ‘together’ + mittere— send with, send together:

  • commission, n.— an official group created for a specific mission
    or task, (or payment to a salesperson of a part of the sale price)
  • commission, v.— to send someone to complete a task. (When it is finished he or she may be ‘decommissioned.’)
  • commit, v. — to promise or firmly agree to do something
  • committed, adj.— having sent a message that you will work with someone or do something
  • commitment, n.— a promise

dis-: not, apart + mittere— send apart:

  • dismiss, v.— to send away

ex-, e-: out + mittere— send out:

  • emission, n.- something (often energy, gases or sound) sent out
  • emit, v.— to send out

ob-, o-: ‘against’ or ‘over’ + mittere— overlook or not do or send:

  • omission, n.— something that has not been done that should have been
  • omit, v.— to leave something out

per-: ‘through’ + mittere— send through, allow

  • permit, v.— to allow or n.— an official paper stating that something is allowed (O.K. to do). A second noun is permission (adj. permissible  or negative: impermissible.)

pro-: ‘before’ + mittere— to send or say before:

  • promise, n.(or v.) — (to make) a statement that in the future something will definitely be done

re-: ‘back’ + mittere— send back:

  • remit, v.— to send something back
  • remission, n.— something that is returned (or forgiven)

sub-: under + mittere— to send under:

  • submission, n.— yielding to another’s will
  • submit, v.— to put one’s own will or plans under the will of another person (to accept their authority)

trans-: across or through + mittere— to send through or across:

  • transmit, v.— to send a message a long way
  • transmitter, n.— a machine that sends electrical signals across distances.
  • transmission, n.— long-distance sending

Practice finding some of these words in a word search puzzle. (Answers are here.) 

English Words from Other Latin Roots

Now use what you have learned about prefixes and suffixes. Try to guess the meanings of the English examples given after each of these Latin word roots. (Can you think of others?)

A — D

photo of tree roots

  • actum— an act, agere— to do or to act. Examples of English words from these word roots: act, activity, counteract, deactivate, inactive, interaction, reaction, transaction. (To learn more about how words are made from act, see Word Families.)
  • aequaere— to make even or level,aequus— equal: equality, equation, equator, equilibrium, equate, equinox, equity. (Negativesdisequilibrium, inequality, inequitable, unequal.)
  • caedere— to cut (often -cis) or kill (-cide): concise, decisive, homicide, imprecise, incision, indecisive, precise.
  • clamare— to shout: acclaim, clamor, exclamation, proclaim, reclaim.
  • claudere-— to shut or close: conclusion, exclude, inclusive, inconclusive, occlude (to close off a passage like an artery), preclude. reclusive, secluded.
  • clinare— to lean: decline, disinclination, inclination, recline.
  • crescere— to grow: crescendo, decrease, increase, increasingly.
  • currere— to run:  concurrent, courier, currently, cursive, cursor, cursory, incur,  occur.
  • dicere— to say: addictive, contradict, dictate, dictator, diction, predict, unpredictable, verdict
  • durare- to harden or to last; durus— hard: arduous, durable, endurance, unendurable.
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  • facere— to make, factus, made (often becoming fectus when joined with a prefix. Facere also becomes the suffixes -ify, -ificial, & -ification in English): affect, artificial, classification, codify, diversify, edification, effect, efficiently, factor, factory, identify, infect (make someone sick), justification, perfect, proficient, simplify, specific, superficial, verify. 

Negatives from facere: disaffected (affected negatively), unaffected (not affected at all), declassify, defective, unedifying, ineffective, inefficient, unidentified, unjustified, imperfection, unspecific, unverified.

  • ferre— to bring/carry: conference (bring together), defer, differentiate, inferred, refer, transfer.
  • finis— limit or end: confine, definite, definition, final, finite, finish, infinity. 
  • firmare— to make firm: affirm, confirmed, confirmation, firmly, infirm.
  • fligere— to strike (hit someone): afflict, affliction, conflict, inflict.
  • fluere— to flow: affluent, confluent, effluent, fluency, flux, influential, influx, reflux.
  • formare- to form: conformity, deform, formalize, format, formation, inform, nonconformity, reformer, transform, unformatted, unformed, unreformed.
  • fundere— to pour or melt: confusing, diffuse, fuse, fusion, infuse, profuse, refusal, transfusion.
  • gradi— to step; gradus— a step: aggression (neg: nonaggression and nonaggressive OR unaggressive), biodegradable, congress, degradation, degree, digression, grade, graduation, progress, regressive, retrograde, transgression, unprogressive.
  • gregare— to herd (form groups): aggregate, congregation, desegregation, gregarious, segregation.


  • haerere— to attach or stick: adhere, adhesive, cohesion, incoherent, inherent.
  • integrare— to make whole: disintegrate, integer, integral, integration, integrity.
  • jactare— to throw: conjecture (an idea thrown out to see the response), dejected, eject, inject, objective, project, projector (machine that throws a picture forward), rejected, subject to, trajectory.
  • jungere- to join togetheradjoining, conjoined, conjunction, disjointed, joint, junction.
  • laborare— to work: collaborate, elaborately, labor, laborer, laborious.
  • legis, lex— law: illegal, illegitimate, legal, legality, legislation, legislature, legitimate.
  • locus— place: allocate, collocation, local, locate, location, relocation. 


  • mandare— to order or command: commandment, demand , mandate, mandatory
  • manus— hand: manipulate, manual, manufacture, manuscript
  • pes, pedis- foot: biped, centipede, expedition, impede, impediment, pedal, pedestrian 
  • plicare— to fold: complicated, duplicate, duplicity, explicit, implication, implicit, implies, multiply, uncomplicated.
  • portare— to carry: deport, deportment, exports, important, portable, report, support, transportation. (neg: unimportant, nonportable, unreported, unsupported)


  • rectus— right, regere— to lead straight or to rule: correct, correction, deregulation, direct, erect, incorrect, irregular, rectangle, rectify, regular, regulate, unregulated.
  • rumpere, ruptus— to break, broken: abrupt, corruption, disruptive, erupt, incorruptible, interrupt, rupture, uncorrupted, uninterrupted.
  • scribere— to writeascribe, circumscribe, description, inscribe, manuscript, postscript, scribe, scripture
  • securus— safe: assure, assurance, ensure, insecure, insurance, reassure, security, sure.
  • sequi— to follow: consecutive, consequences, inconsequential, sequel, sequence, subsequently.
  • servare— to keep or protect: conservation, observe, preservation, reserve, reservoir. 
  • signare— to mark or make a signassign, design, designate, insignia, insignificant, resign, sign, signal, signature, significant, unassigned, undesignated. 
  • sistere— to place or take a stand: consistent, existence, insist, persistent, resist, resistance.
  • solvere— to loosen or dissolve: absolve, dissolution, resolve, resolution, soluble, solve. (Negatives include: insoluble, unresolved, unsolved.) 
  • spirare— to breathe: aspiring, conspire, expired, inspiration, perspire, respiration, transpire, unexpired, uninspiring.
  • statuere— to put or set: constitutional, institute, institutionalize, restitution, substitute.
  • struere— to build: construction, destructive, instructions, obstruct, reconstruct, structure.


  • terminus— end, boundary: determine, exterminate, terminal, terminate, terminology.
  • testari— to bear witness: attest (to), contest, testify, testament, uncontested.
  • torquere— to twist: contort, distort, extortion, retort, torque, torsion, torture, undistorted
  • tribuere—to pay or divide among: attribute, contribution, distribute, retribution, tribute, tributary, unattributed.
  • turbare—to trouble or cause disorder: disturb, disturbance, perturbed, turbid, turbulence.
  • volvere— to roll or turn around: convoluted, evolution, involved, revolve, revolutionary

Practice These Word Roots— & More

Practice some of the English words from these roots at Match These Words from Latin Roots and 50 Latin Word Roots Practice. (This is a gap-fill practice. There’s some explanation for a few words that are hard to understand to understand from the root alone.)

To keep this list from being too long, I skipped many common roots you might already know. See if you can think of any words from the Latin root bases lun- (moon), manu- (hand), sol- (sun), stella- (star). There are also many common words from Greek roots.  

There are more Latin word roots, as well as more explanations and practice, at

Photo of a soccer game with two opposing teams

So many English words come from the Latin root ponere (pon- or pos-). For example: «The opposing team imposed their will. They really exposed our weakness!»

Picture of sunflowers with text: Words from the Latin roots for bending & stretching: deflect, flexible, & reflection, attentive (stretching toward someone), distended, extend, & tension...

More English roots— from Latin verbs of motion: attract (pull towards), & retract from the Latin root meaning ‘pull;’  compel, compulsive, expel, & repulsive from the root for ‘driven’— and more.

A spreading oak tree with extensive roots in a circle design

Find the pages to study or practice over 100 root words on EnglishHints. This reference table gives meanings, examples, & links.

You can review words from 10 of these roots with a fairly easy word search puzzle. (Check its answers here.)

If you’re interested in teaching roots, check out the inexpensive lessons and practice activities on Root, Prefix, and Suffix Worksheets.

  1.  ›
  2. Roots, Prefixes and Suffixes ›
  3. 50+ Latin Word Roots

Didn’t find what you
needed? Explain what you want in the search box below.
(For example, cognates, past tense practice, or ‘get along with.’) Click to see the related pages on EnglishHints.

These seven Latin roots are the origins of a large number of
English words. Most of their derivatives below are very common in academic writing. (Many of these words are also
on study lists for the TOEFL and other tests.) 

Studying these words will help you understand how prefixes and suffixes change the meaning and use of words. These word-building skills will also make it easier to guess the meaning of other words you read. 

Take a quick look at these lists. If you think you know them,
try the matching practice at the bottom first, then study any that you aren’t
sure about.

Some of the words — most from ducere, in fact— are not easy to guess from their
roots. These words are so useful I included them anyway on the page (not in the practice)— with explanations.

How to Use This Page

Circled tree with roots iconText: Learn over 125 English words from the Latin roots for call, come, go, hold, lead, seek, & turn.

The headings give each Latin verb in italic type and its English meaning.

Beneath each root are some English words derived from it, with their parts of speech and meanings.

After these, there’s a short list of similar words with related meanings.

Then there is a matching game using some of each root’s easier forms.

If you are looking for a larger list of Latin roots of common English words, see 50 Word Roots from Latin. Studying bth pages can really increase your English vocabulary.

Why Are There Different Word Forms?

The forms of some of the English words are quite
different from their Latin roots. (We get both ‘success’ and ‘succeed’ from cedere, ‘deduct’ and ‘deduce’ from ducere, etc.)

is partly because some Latin forms are very different from the verb infinitives. (Latin infinitives include cedere, ducere, etc.) Latin noun or past participle forms are especially likely to be different.

For example, the past participle of vertere
is versus, and we get English
words from both forms. Other differences are due to changes over time from
Latin to French and then into English.

(Abbreviations for parts of speech: v.= verb, n.= noun, adj.= adjective, adv.=
adverb, prep.= preposition.)

Cedere- to Go, Depart, or Yield

Words for roots for coming and going (from the roots cedere and venire); words like concede and convene.

  • access, n.- ability to reach or use something (from ad + cedere)
  • concede, v.- to yield to (go along with) an opponent’s argument, at least
    in part
  • excessive, adj.- too much (going beyond what’s wanted)
  • intercede, v.- to go between people, requesting help or mercy for one from the other 
  • precede, v.- to go before or in front of
  • procedure, n.- the steps to follow in a complicated
  • recession, n.- a diminishing, especially a weakening
    economy, though not as weak as a depression
  • succeed, v.- to achieve a goal
  • successive, adj.- events following each other
  • unprecedented, adj.- a first: without a precedent

Also important (from the above): accessibility,
concession, exceed, exceedingly, excess, inaccessible, intercession, intercessor, precedent, procedural, proceed, process, procession, recede, recessive, reprocess, success, successful, succession, unprocessed, unsuccessful.

Ducere— to Lead

Definitions of deductive and inductive reasoning with silhouette of Sherlock Holmes following footprints.

  • conduct, v.- to guide, or n.- behavior (the way one leads
    his life)
  • conductivity, n.- the ability to carry electric current
    (or heat or sound)
  • deduce, v.- to reason logically (draw conclusions from
    general principles about what to expect in specific cases)
  • deduct, v.- to take away from a sum of money (for
    example, to deduct childcare expenses from taxes due)
  • deduction, n. (from either deduce or deduct)
  • induce, v.- to cause or lead someone to act
  • introduce, v.- to present a person (or a new idea) to
  • produce, v.- to make something (lead it into existence),
     n.- fresh vegetables and fruits for sale
  • product, n.- something that is produced
  • reduce, v.- to decrease (lower the amount)
  • reproduce, v.- to copy, or produce more (for example, of the same

Also: conductor, deductible, deductive (reasoning), induction, inductive, production,
productive, reduction, reproducible, reproduction, reproductive.

to seek (look for)

  • acquisitive, adj.- wanting a lot of money or things
  • inquest, n.- an investigation into the cause of a death
  • inquire, v.- to ask about, look into
  • prerequisite, n.- a requirement that must be met before
    something can happen (You must meet all the prerequisites before you can take
    certain classes. For example, passing Algebra 2 might be a prerequisite for
    taking a calculus course.)
  • quest, n.- a search for something important
  • request, v.- to ask someone for something
  • requirement, n.- something that must be done
  • requisition, n.- an order for something needed

Also acquire, acquisition, inquire, inquiry, inquisition, question, require.

to hold

  • abstain, v.- to hold oneself back from something
  • contain, v.- to hold something within.
  • content or contented, adj.- happy (desires that are
    limited or contained.)
  • detain, v.- to hold someone back or to prevent them from
  • maintain, v. (from manus—hand
    + tenere)- to keep something usable
    or hold it in a good condition.
  • obtainable, adj..- able to get something.
  • pertain (to), v.-to belong or relate to
  • pertinent, adj.- related
  • retention, n.- keeping something
  • sustain, v. (from
    L. sub— up from below + tenere)- to hold up or support (for a
    long time.)
  • sustenance, n. (Now used for food, since it sustains
  • tenable, adj.- able to be held, reasonable (usually used
    for ideas.)
  • tenet, n.- a belief held to be true

Also: abstinence, container, containment, contentment, contents, detainee, detention,  maintenance, obtain, retain, retainer, sustainability,
tenacious, unsustainable, untenable

Venire- to come

  • convention, n.- a large gathering
  • event, n.- a planned happening
  • eventually, adv.- sooner or later
  • intervene, v.- to come between people, try to stop a
  • invent, v.- to create a new product or machine
  • prevent, v.- to stop from happening
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Also: convene, eventual, intervention, invention, preventable, prevention.

to turn

  • adversary- opponent
  • adverse, adj.- contrary or opposing;
  • convert, v.- to change something into something else
    (often to cause someone to change their beliefs), or n.- a person who has changed religions
  • diversion, n.- a break from the usual routine;
  • extrovert- a person who gets energy by being around other people
  • introvert- a person who is more comfortable being alone than in large social gatherings
  • invert, v.- to turn something upside down or inside out
  • perverse, adj.- turned away from what is right
  • reverse, v.- to turn something around so it will go in
    the opposite direction, or adj.- the
    back of something, or backwards
  • revert, v.- to return to a previous condition or form.
  • subvert, v.- to work secretly to undermine or overthrow
    the government
  • transverse, adj.- lying across, sideways
  • versatile- able to change, adaptable

Also: adversity, conversely, conversion, convertible, diverse,
diversify, diversity, divert, extroversion, extroverted, introversion, introverted, inverse, inversely, inversion, irreversible, perversely, perversion,
pervert, reversible, reversion, subversion, subversive, versatility, version,

Vocare- to
call (+ vox- voice, & vocabulum- a word)

  • advocate, v.- to argue or plead for someone, or n.- one
    who pleads someone’s case [matching: to 
    speak in favor of someone]
  • avocation, n. (from ab- away from + vocare— to call away from)- a strong interest or pursuit, like a
    non-paying job
  • convocation, n.- a group called together              
  • evoke, v.- to call out a memory, feeling, or response
  • invoke- to call on (or refer to in order to prove a point) 
  • invocation, n.- a formal prayer (usually calling on God
    to bless a gathering) 
  • irrevocable, adj.- cannot be undone (called back)
  • provoke, v.- to speak or act in a way that calls up  a negative reaction 
  • revoke,  v.- to
    call back or retract (a law or privilege)
  • vocal- relating to the voice (or with a loud voice: “a
    vocal protest.”)
  • vocational, adj.- relating to jobs

Also: convoke, evocative, provocative, provocation,
revocable, revocation, vocabulary, vocally, vocation.

Matching Practice

Instructions: Match the items on the right to the items on the left. The first one (contents) has been done as an example.

See Roots Memory Game 1 (Quaerere), Memory Game 2 (Cedere) and Memory Game 3 (Vertere) for very different matching games with three of these roots. Most practice different English words, as well.

These are «Memory» (or «Concentration») games.  Players turn over two cards of twelve (or sometimes more) at a time, looking for matches. When the cards don’t match, they flip back over. Players try to remember matching card locations. Then they can use their turns to choose (and win) those pairs.

It’s a lot of fun, and a good mental exercise! It’s also a great way to deepen the connections in your mind between words and their meanings.

You can also practice many of these words with a word search puzzle. (Look for its answers here.)

Didn’t find what you
needed? Explain what you want in the search box below.
(For example, cognates, past tense practice, or ‘get along with.’) Click to see the related pages on EnglishHints.

The root is conventionally indicated using the mathematical symbol √; for instance, the Sanskrit root «» means the root «».

The root of a word is a unit of meaning (morpheme) and, as such, it is an abstraction, though it can usually be represented alphabetically as a word. For example, it can be said that the root of the English verb form running is run, or the root of the Spanish superlative adjective amplísimo is ampli-, since those words are derived from the root forms by simple suffixes that do not alter the roots in any way. In particular, English has very little inflection and a tendency to have words that are identical to their roots. But more complicated inflection, as well as other processes, can obscure the root; for example, the root of mice is mouse (still a valid word), and the root of interrupt is, arguably, rupt, which is not a word in English and only appears in derivational forms (such as disrupt, corrupt, rupture, etc.). The root rupt can be written as if it were a word, but it is not.

This distinction between the word as a unit of speech and the root as a unit of meaning is even more important in the case of languages where roots have many different forms when used in actual words, as is the case in Semitic languages. In these, roots (semitic roots) are formed by consonants alone, and speakers elaborate different words (belonging potentially to different parts of speech) from the root by inserting different vowels. For example, in Hebrew, the root ג-ד-ל g-d-l represents the idea of largeness, and from it we have gadol and gdola (masculine and feminine forms of the adjective «big»), gadal «he grew», higdil «he magnified» and magdelet «magnifier», along with many other words such as godel «size» and migdal «tower».

Secondary roots are roots with changes in them, producing a new word with a slightly different meaning. In English, a rough equivalent would be to see conductor as a secondary root formed from the root to conduct. In abjad languages, the most familiar of which are Arabic and Hebrew, in which families of secondary roots are fundamental to the language, secondary roots are created by changes in the roots’ vowels, by adding or removing the long vowels a, i, u, e and o. (Notice that Arabic does not have the vowels e and o.) In addition, secondary roots can be created by prefixing (m−, t−), infixing (−t−), or suffixing (−i, and several others). There is no rule in these languages on how many secondary roots can be derived from a single root; some roots have few, but other roots have many, not all of which are necessarily in current use.

Consider the Arabic language:

  • مركز [mrkz] or [markaza] meaning ‘centralized (masculine, singular)’, from [markaz] ‘centre’, from [rakaza] ‘plant into the earth, stick up (a lance)’ ( ر-ك-ز | r-k-z). This in turn has derived words [markaziy], meaning ‘central’, [markaziy:ah], meaning ‘centralism’ or ‘centralization’, and , [la:markaziy:ah] ‘decentralization’[5]
  • أرجح [rjh] or [ta’arjaħa] meaning ‘oscillated (masculine, singular)’, from [‘urju:ħa] ‘swing (n)’, from [rajaħa] ‘weighed down, preponderated (masculine, singular)’ ( ر-ج-ح | r-j-ħ).
  • محور [mhwr] or [tamaħwara] meaning ‘centred, focused (masculine, singular)’, from [mihwar] meaning ‘axis’, from [ħa:ra] ‘turned (masculine, singular)’ (ح-و-ر | h-w-r).
  • مسخر [msxr], تمسخر [tamasxara] meaning ‘mocked, made fun (masculine, singular)’, from مسخرة [masxara] meaning ‘mockery’, from سخر [saxira] ‘mocked (masculine, singular)’ (derived from س-خ-ر[s-x-r]).»[6] Similar cases may be found in other Semitic languages such as Hebrew, Syriac, Aramaic, Maltese language and to a lesser extent Amharic.

According to Ghil’ad Zuckermann, «this process is morphologically similar to the production of frequentative (iterative) verbs in Latin, for example:

  • iactito ‘to toss about’ derives from iacto ‘to boast of, keep bringing up, harass, disturb, throw, cast, fling away’, which in turn derives from iacio ‘to throw, cast’ (from its past participle iactum).[6]

Consider the root √š-m-n (ש-מ-נ).

Although all words vary semantically, the general meaning of a greasy, fatty material can be attributed to the root.

  1. Katamba, Francis (2006). Morphology (2nd ed.). Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 42. ISBN 9781403916440.
  2. «Root». Glossary of Linguistic Terms. 3 December 2015.
  3. Kemmer, Suzanne. «Words in English: Structure». Words in English. Retrieved 2018.
  4. Wehr, Hans (1976). Cowan, J Milton (ed.). Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (3rd ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: Spoken Language Services. p. 358. ISBN 0-87950-001-8. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Zuckermann, Ghil’ad 2003, Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-1723-X. pp 65–66.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Lohndal, Terje (28 February 2020). «Syntactic Categorization of Roots». Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199384655.013.257. ISBN 978-0-19-938465-5.
  7. Levinson, Lisa (27 November 2014). «The ontology of roots and verbs». The Syntax of Roots and the Roots of Syntax: 208–229. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665266.003.0010. ISBN 978-0199665273.
  8. Acquaviva, Paolo (May 2009). «Roots and Lexicality in Distributed Morphology». York Papers in Linguistics. University of York. Department of Language and Linguistic Science. 2 (10). hdl:10197/4148.
  9. Coon, Jessica (1 February 2019). «Building verbs in Chuj: Consequences for the nature of roots». Journal of Linguistics. 55 (1): 35–81. doi:10.1017/S0022226718000087. S2CID 149423392.
  10. ^ a b c Arad, Maya (2003). «Locality Constraints on the Interpretation of Roots: The Case of Hebrew Denominal Verbs». Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 21 (4): 737–778. doi:10.1023/A:1025533719905. S2CID 35715020.
  11. Alexiadou, Artemis; Lohndal, Terje (18 May 2017). «On the division of labor between roots and functional structure». The Verbal Domain. 1. doi:10.1093/oso/9780198767886.003.0004. hdl:.

A nerve root (Latin: radix nervi) is the initial segment of a nerve leaving the central nervous system. Nerve roots can be classified as:

  • Cranial nerve roots: the initial or proximal segment of one of the twelve pairs of cranial nerves leaving the central nervous system from the brain stem or the highest levels of the spinal cord.
  • Spinal nerve roots: the initial or proximal segment of one of the 31 pairs of spinal nerves leaving the central nervous system from the spinal cord. Each spinal nerve is formed by the union of a sensory dorsal root and a motor ventral root,[1] meaning that there are 62 dorsal/ventral root pairs, and therefore 124 nerve roots in total, each of which stems from a bundle of nerve rootlets (or root filaments).

Cranial nerve roots

Spinal nerve roots

Pain and pathologies

Damage to nerve roots can cause paresis and paralysis of the muscle innervated by the affected spinal nerve. It may also cause pain and numbness in the corresponding dermatome. A common cause of damage to the nerve roots is spine lesions, such as prolapse of the nucleus pulposus, spinal tuberculosis, cancer, inflammation, spinal tabs. Root pain syndromes, known colloquially as radiculitis and sciatica, are among the most common symptoms caused by damage to the nerve root. Radiculopathy is commonly called the «root». In addition to pain, nerve damage may lead to impaired muscle control. Typically, mechanical dysfunction is caused by pressure on the nerve root or shock, affecting both the lower limbs and arms’ roots.

The first sign of disease (sometimes preceding the occurrence of the radicular syndrome by up to a few years) is a sensation of pain in the neck and shoulder area. This pain often manifests due to hypothermia, poor posture or ergonomics during work or sleep, or sudden head movement. Team roots are localized mostly within the three lower cervical roots, namely C5, C6, and C7.

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  • Forced reflexive position of the spine
  • Paraspinal muscle contracture
  • Reduction of cervical lordosis
  • Numerous painful points on the edges of the blade
  • Pain at the back of the head slope
  • Pain radiating to the upper chest and shoulder area
  • The positive sign of nerve root tension in the upper limbs
  • Weakness, especially with certain activities

  • Sensation of pain along the lateral brachium of the affected side of the arm
  • C5 innervated muscle weakness may be found (e.g., rhomboids and deltoids)

  • Sensation of pain along the lateral antebrachium of the affected arm
  • C6 innervated muscles are weak (e.g., forearm pronator and supinator and wrist extensors)

  • Sensation of pain along with the middle finger of the affected arm
  • C7 innervated muscles are weak (e.g., wrist flexors and finger extensors)

Treatment should be initiated as early as possible, before any muscle tone increases, which further intensifies the pain. Traction is recommended to decompress compressed roots. Radiculopathy can be caused by herniated nucleus pulposus. Surgery is the last resort when conservative therapy is unsuccessful.

Lower limb radiculopathies

The cause is a herniated intervertebral disc, often on a single nerve root. The first sign of the nerve root sickness is usually lumbago, which usually occurs with periods of remission. The time to develop a full radicular syndrome may take several months or several years. Pain generally increases gradually, but it can also be sudden. Cold causes muscle contraction, which leads to increased previously hidden symptoms.

  • Scoliosis
  • Paraspinal muscle contracture
  • The reduction of lumbar lordosis
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Other inflammatory diseases

  • Pain located on the front of the thigh and shin further radiates towards the inner ankle, sometimes the medial toe
  • Occasionally, failure of the quadriceps muscle and reflex weakness

  • Pain radiates to the side of the thigh and lower leg towards the back of the foot and toes 1–3
  • All reflexes are preserved

  • Pain radiates to the posterior side of the thigh and lower leg to the ankle side, sometimes up to the fourth toe
  • Gluteal muscles are weakened
  • Difficulty standing on toes

Treatment can vary based on the nature and severity of the disease. A compressed nerve root can cause radicular pain with or without radiculopathy. Most of the time, symptoms from a compressed nerve will start to feel better within 6 to 12 weeks of nonsurgical treatment.

  1. Blumenfeld, Hal (2010). Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases (2nd ed.). Sunderland: Sinauer Associates. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-87893-058-6.
  2. Sanders, K. (2019, March 30). Summary of the Cranial Nerves. Teach Me Anatomy.
  3. Hagan, Catherine (2012). Comparative Anatomy and Histology. Academic Press: Piper M. Treuting, Suzanne M. Dintzis. ISBN 9780123813619.
  4. Biga, L., Dawson, S., Harwell, A., Hopkins, R., Kaufmann, J., LeMaster, M., . . . Runyeon, J. (unk). 13.3 Spinal and Cranial Nerves. Retrieved November 20, 2020, from
  5. «A Neurosurgeon’s Overview of the Anatomy of the Spine and Peripheral Nervous System». Retrieved .

Did you know that the English language is made up of many words derived from other languages? In fact, over 60% of English words are derived from Latin, French, and Greek. This article will explore Latin roots, suffixes, and prefixes. Not sure what they are? No worries, we will look at a definition of each of these terms, along with some examples and English words that use them.

Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes Definition

It’s important to be aware of what roots, prefixes, and suffixes are, as they all help to determine the meaning of words. If you haven’t heard of these terms before, here are some definitions and examples:

Roots Definition

A root (also known as a base) refers to the core form of a word. It has a distinct meaning and can make sense on its own.

An example of a root word is ‘child.’ This word makes sense on its own and has its own definition. Nothing has been added to it.

A root carries most of a word’s meaning. Once you learn the root of a word, you will be able to construct new words. For example, take the verb ‘slow.’ This is a root word. You can add ‘ly’ to the end to turn it into the adverb ‘slowly.’ The ending ‘ly’ is known as a suffix.

Here’s a definition of suffix:

Suffix Definition

A suffix refers to a letter or group of letters added to the end of a root word to create a new meaning. Suffixes can be added to a root word for a variety of reasons, such as:

1. To change tense

Take the root word ‘paint‘ (e.g., I paint a picture). To change this to the past tense, you would add the ‘ed‘ suffix, which changes it to ‘painted.’

2. To express plurality (more than one of something)

Take the singular root word ‘cup.’ If you want to make it plural, you would add the suffix ‘s‘ at the end, which changes it to ‘cups.’ This shows there is more than one cup.

3. To change the word class

Take the root word ‘agree’ (verb). To change this to an adjective, you would add the suffix ‘able,’ which changes it to ‘agreeable’ (adjective).

When ‘able‘ is used, sometimes letters from the root words get dropped. For example, adding ‘able‘ to the root ‘adore‘ does not make it ‘adoreable‘ — instead, it’s ‘adorable.’

Prefix Definition

A prefix refers to a letter or group of letters added to the beginning of a root word to create a new meaning. Prefixes can be used for a couple of reasons, including:

1. To negate a word (make the meaning negative)

Take the root word ‘legal.’ To make this negative, you would add the prefix ‘il’, changing it to ‘illegal.’

Latin Roots, Suffixes and Prefixes Negating a word using prefixes StudySmarterFig. 1 — Illegal has negative connotations, whereas legal has positive connotations.

Other prefixes used to create a negative meaning are:

  • in- (e.g., incorrect)

  • im- (e.g., impossible)

  • ir- (e.g., irresponsible)

  • un- (e.g., unimpressed)

  • dis- (e.g., disapprove)

2. To show repetition

Adding the ‘re‘ prefix to the root ‘do‘ creates the word ‘redo‘, which means to do something again/more than once.

Sometimes, prefixes can be hyphenated so as to not be misread or mispronounced. This is often the case if the last letter of the prefix and the first letter of the root word are the same. For example, the word ‘re-enter‘ is often written with a hyphen — otherwise, it may be pronounced as ‘reen-ter.’

Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes Example

Let’s look at some examples of roots, suffixes, and prefixes derived from Latin. Did you know these words came from Latin?

Latin Roots Examples

Latin Suffixes Examples

Latin Prefixes Examples

Did you know the ‘pre’ in the word ‘prefix’ is a Latin prefix itself? It derives from the Latin ‘prae‘, which means ‘before/prior to.’

Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes Words

Now that you know some Latin roots, suffixes and prefixes, let’s take a look at some English words that use them!

We’ll begin with the Latin root words and the English words that use these roots:

Latin Roots and English Words

Latin Suffixes and English Words

Latin Prefixes and English Words

The Influence of Latin on English

Loanwords are words that have been taken from one language and integrated into the vocabulary of another. This is often done when two countries/cultures come into close contact, usually due to migration, trade, and/or war between countries.

During the Roman Empire, Latin was the lingua franca in most of Europe — a lingua franca is a common language used between countries that have different native languages. This means it was widely spoken and other European countries were often exposed to Latin vocabulary. Many English words were either directly taken from Latin, or new words were created using Latin roots, suffixes, and prefixes.

Below is a pie chart of the languages with the most influence on English. This shows the percentage of words in the English language that derive from each of these languages:

Latin Roots, Suffixes and Prefixes Image of pie chart StudySmarterFig. 2 — Pie chart showing the percentage of words in English that derive from other languages

Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes Review

So, what do we now know about Latin roots, suffixes, and prefixes?

Here are a few key points:

  • A root is the core form of a word. It makes sense on its own.

  • A suffix is added to the end of a root word. This can be done to change the tense, express plurality, or change the word class.

  • A prefix is added to the beginning of a root word. This can be done to negate a word or show repetition.

If you are familiar with Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes, you can use them to help determine the meanings of unfamiliar English words.

The word ‘indescribable‘ is made up of:

  • prefix: in
  • root: describe
  • suffix: able

From this, we can tell that:

  • The root word ‘describe’ means to give a detailed description or account of something.
  • But the prefix ‘in’ is used to negate the word — in this case meaning ‘not able to be described.’
  • The suffix ‘able’ means that the word is an adjective, so is used to modify a noun.

Latin Roots, Suffixes, and Prefixes — Key Takeaways

  • A root refers to the base form of a word.
  • Examples of Latin root words include ‘audire’, ‘mens’ and ‘lingua’
  • A suffix is a letter/group of letters added to the end of a root word, whereas a prefix is a letter/group of letters added to the beginning of a root word.
  • Examples of Latin suffixes include ‘able,’ ‘ify,’ and ‘ment’
  • Examples of Latin prefixes include ‘co,’ ‘dis,’ and ‘re’

Latin was the language spoken by the ancient Romans. As the Romans conquered most of Europe, the Latin language spread throughout the region. Over time, the Latin spoken in different areas developed into separate languages, including Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. These languages are considered “sisters,” as they all descended from Latin, their “mother” language.

In 1066 England was conquered by William, duke of Normandy, which is in northern France. For several hundred years after the Norman invasion, French was the language of court and polite society in England. It was during this period that many French words were borrowed into English. Linguists estimate that some 60% of our common everyday vocabulary today comes from French. Thus many Latin words came into English indirectly through French.

Many Latin words came into English directly, though, too. Monks from Rome brought religious vocabulary as well as Christianity to England beginning in the 6th century. From the Middle Ages onward many scientific, scholarly, and legal terms were borrowed from Latin.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, dictionary writers and grammarians generally felt that English was an imperfect language whereas Latin was perfect. In order to improve the language, they deliberately made up a lot of English words from Latin words. For example, fraternity, from Latin fraternitas, was thought to be better than the native English word brotherhood.

Words and word roots may also combine with suffixes. Here are examples of some important English suffixes that come from Latin:

Latin and Greek Word Elements

It’s All Greek

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