Root Words

Grow Vocabulary by Learning Root Words

  • 1. Most English root words came from the Greek and Latin languages.   Latin Root Words    Greek Root Words

    2. One useful method for building vocabulary through root words is to first look at a base word and then look for familiar prefixes and suffixes that go with that base.

    3. Example:  construction

    4. 10 Common Root Words

    Root

        Meaning

    bio-

        life

    auto-

        self

    phon-

        sound

    tele-

        distance, far

    geo-

        earth

    photo-

        light

    vac-

        empty

    scrib-, script-

        write

    vis-, vid-

        see

    port-

        carry

    sens-, sent-

        feel

    5.  (G) indicates that a root is Greek in origin, and (L) indicates that a root is Latin.

    1. Psych — (G) Mind

    Psychology (the study of the mind)

    2. Phil — (G) Love

    Cinephile (movie lover)

    3. Struc — (L) Build

    Structure (parts or pieces built into something complex)

    4. Vac — (L) Empty

    Vacuous (having an empty mind, not thinking)

    5. Ver — (L) True

    Veritable (real, true, authentic)

    6. Scrib/Scrip — (L) Write

    Prescription (a written note signed by a doctor which provides instructions for medicine or treatment)

    7. Mega  (G) Great, large

    Megaphone (a large device which makes your voice louder)

    8. Mono — (G) Single

    Monochromatic (having only one color)

    9. Luc — (L) Light

    Lucid (bright, clear)

    10. Mal — (L) Bad

    Malevolent (wanting to do bad or evil things)

    11. Mar — (L) Sea

    Marina (a port or harbor for boats and ships)

    12. Manu/Mani — (L) Hand

    Manicure (a treatment to make your hands look clean, neat and polished)

    13. Min — (L) Small

    Miniscule (very small in size)

    14. Fort — (L) Strong

    Fortitude (strength)

    15. Mort — (L) Death

    Mortician (someone who prepares dead bodies to be buried)

    16. Nas/Nat — (L) Birth

    Nascent (coming into existence, something just recently created)

    17. Trans — (L) Across

    Transatlantic (something which crosses the Atlantic Ocean)

    18. Voc/Vos — (L) Voice

    Vociferous (loud, someone who speaks loudly or talks a lot)

    19. Aqua — (L) Water

    Aquarium (a tank of water where fish are kept as pets)

    20. Bene — (L) Good

    Benevolent (wanting good things for people, generous, kind)

    21. Chron — (G) Time

    Chronological (organized by time of occurrence)

    22. Bio — (G) Life

    Biology (the study of living things)

    23. Theo — (G) God

    Theology (the study of religion)

    24. Phone — (G) Sound

    Telephone (a device used to talk with other people)

    25. Omni — (L) All

    Omniscient (knowing everything)

    26. Sens/Sent — (L) Feel

    Sentimental (emotional, attaching emotional value to things)

    27. Terr — (L) Earth

    Terrarium (a container for land animals kept as pets, often containing rocks, dirt or sand)

    28. Vid/Vis — (L) See

    Visible (able to be seen)

    29. Auto — (G) Self

    Automatic (happens on its own)

    30. Poly — (G) Many

    Polyglot (person who can speak many languages)

Last Modified on October 19, 2020