- How To Use This Dictionary
- Every scientific term or name is composed of one or more word roots, between and following which may be one or more vowels or consonants. In the list of roots on the following pages, the connecting vowels and consonants that are most frequently encountered are indicated as variations in the roots. For example, the entry erythr, -o (G) red indicates that the root is erythr and the most commonly encountered connecting vowel is o, and the root may be found as erythr or erythro. The source language of each root is indicated by the abbreviation in parentheses (the root erythr is from a Greek word).Roots preceded by a hyphen are suffixes, or roots generally used at the end of a word; for example, -idae is the suffix that is added to the roots of generic names to form the names of families of animals, and -pus is the Greek root meaning foot that is used at the end of a word (e.g., octopus). Roots preceded by an equals sign may be used alone or as a terminal root; for example, =buteo, from the Latin and meaning a kind of hawk, is used as Buteo, a genus of hawks; and in the name Archibuteo, another genus of hawks. Root variations preceded by an equals sign are variations usually used at the end of a word; for example, in the entry cephal, =a, -o, the ^§_ indicates that cephala is usually used at the end of a word (as in Acanthocephala, the phylum of spiny-headed worms, parasitic; also a genus of bugs that have a spine on the head).Similar English meanings are separated by commas, and dissimilar meanings by semicolons. Different English meanings of the same root may be due to the fact that the word from which the root comes has more than one meaning, or the root may be derived from more than one word in the source language; some roots may be derived from words in two source languages, and in such cases the source language is indicated in connection with each English equivalent. Variations in roots are listed separately in the alphabetical sequence only if they are separated by more than two intervening roots; variations that would be separated by only one or two intervening roots are not repeated in the sequence.A few examples will serve to illustrate the use of this dictionary.Micromere. In the following pages will be found: micr, -o (G) smallmer, =e, -i, -o (G) a part; the thighIn this case the variations are mer, -mere, meri, and mero; the-e indicates that mere is usually used at the end of a term or name. The two English equivalents here are the result of the root coming from two Greek words, -mere (G) a partThe hyphen before the root indicates that it is usually used at the end of a term or name.The first part of the word micromere means small; the last part means a part; a micromere is thus a small part of something. Osmoderma eremicola (the scientific name of the hermit flower beetle). In the following pages will be found:osm, =a, -i, -o (G) a smell, odorosmo, -s, -t (G) pushing, thrustingderm, =a, -ato, -o (G) skinerem, -i, -o (G) lonely, solitarycol, (L) with, together; (G) colon; limbcol, -a, -i (L) dwellThe osmo part of the genus name might come from either of the two roots listed but, since this beetle has a rather distinct odor, it would appear that the first of the two roots (meaning smell or odor) is the one used; derma means skin. The genus name therefore refers to the characteristic odor of this insect. The first part of the species name means lonely or solitary; since cola is indicated as a variation in the root meaning to dwell, this root is evidently the one used; the species name thus means living alone (or as a hermit, hence the common name of the insect).Pododynia. In the following pages will be found:pod, -o, =y (G) a footodyn, =e, =ia, -o (G) paindyn, -am, -amo, -ast (G) be able; power, energyThe first part of the word pododynia obviously comes from a Greek word meaning foot. Since the first of the other two roots (odyn) indicates ^a as terminating vowels, this is obviously the root involved.Podo is the form of this root usually used, but since it is followed byanother root beginning with o, the final . of podo is omitted. Pododynia thus means pain in the foot.
Dictionary of word roots and combining forms . Donald J. Borror. 2013.