Adjectival suffixes

In medical terminology there are many adjectival suffixes that transform a root term into an adjective. In general these adjectival suffixes have the meaning of "pertaining to", and complete the word. In many cases the adjectival suffix can be omitted and simply refer to the root term

An example of this is the suffix [-ic] in the word [gastric], added to the root [-gastr-] meaning "stomach". The word [gastric] then means "pertaining to the stomach", or more simply stated, "stomach". The following lists some of the adjectival suffixes and examples of its use. For brevity, we have not given the root term meaning, but they can be inferred.

• -ic: Gastric; pertaining to the stomach, stomachal, or stomach
-eal: Esophageal; pertaining to the esophagus, or esophagus
-ar: Ocular; pertaining to the eye, or eye
-ose: Adipose; pertaining to, or full of, fat. Refers to fat or fatty tissue
-ine: Uterine; pertaining to the uterus or uterus
-al: Surgical; pertaining to surgery or surgery

For information on how to read medical words, click here.