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Word Roots from A-Z:

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by

Erik Hill

on 10 September 2014

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Transcript of Word Roots from A-Z:

A-C
"Veni Vidi Vici"
Julius Caesar once declared in Latin, "I came, I saw, I conquered."
Today, few of us can read Latin, but it is important to understand that the roots of many of the words we use today have humble beginnings in Latin and Greek.
For example...
Ven
- "to come," the root of words like con
ven
e, which means to come together.

Vid
- "to see," like the word
vid
eo

Vic
- "to conquer," as in the words
vic
torious and
vic
tory.
So...
Whether you know it or not you are already speaking some Greek and Latin, and you are well on your way to understanding the root of many more words. So be proud. The next time someone says, "It's all Greek (or Latin) to me," just say, "Hand it here," because you just might be able to decipher what a word means based on its root.
D-F
Demo
- means people. Democracy, democrat and demographic.

Derma
- means skin. Dermatology, epidermis.

Equi
- means equal. Equity, equilateral and equidistant.

Ex
- means out or away. Exit, extract and explosion.

Extra
- means outside. Extraordinary, extraterrestrial.

Fac
- means to make, or do. Manufacture, factory, benefactor.

Fil

- means threadlike. Filament.

Frater
- means brother. Fraternize, fraternal.
Hmm...Why no "K" roots?
H-J
Hem, Hemo, Hema
- means blood. Hemophilia, hematology, hemoglobin.

Hydro
- means water. Dehydrate, hydraulics, hydroelectric, hydroplane.

Hypno
- means sleep. Hypnosis, hypnotic.

In and im
- means not. Impossible and innocent.

Intra
- means within or into. Intrapersonal, intramural and intravenous.

Ject
- means to throw. Reject, eject and inject.

Jud
- means to judge. Judicial, judge.
Word Roots from A-Z:
Finding the meaning of words

Act
- means to move or do. Action, activity and transaction.

Bell
- means war. Bellicose, belligerent.

Ambul
- means move or walk. Amble, ambulant, ambulate.

Auto
- means self or same. Autocrat, automatic.

Cardio
- means heart. Cardiovascular, cardiology.

Cede
- means go. Exceed, recede, accessible.

Counter
- means against or opposite.

Counteract

-
counterpoint and counterargument.
K-M
leg and lect
-
mean to read. Legible, lectern, lecturer, election.

liter
- means letter. Literature, illiterate, literal.

loc
- means place. Local, location.

log
- means word. Monologue, epilogue.

luc
- means light. Lucid, elucidate.

Mal
- means bad. Malignant, malfunction and malice.

Magni
- means big or great. Magnificent, magnify.

Multi
- means many. Multiple, multifaceted and multilingual.
"Wingardium Leviosa!"
Latin, and Pseudo-Latin, were used for many of the spells in J.K. Rowling's
Harry Potter
series.

The phrase above roughly translates into, to make something
levi
tate.
No "K" roots...
The letter "K" was used very infrequently in Latin, hence the fact there are little to no words that start in "K" in Latin. More often than not, the sound of "K" was substituted by letters like "C" or "G." That is why in English we spell words like
c
apitol
(from the Latin
capitolium
) with a "C" instead of a "K."
N-P
Nov
- means new. Novice.

Omni
- means all. Omnipotent, omnipresent and omnivore.

Path
- means feeling or suffering. Pathetic and Apathy.

Ped
- means foot. Pedal, pedometer, centipede, gastropod.

Poly
- means many. Polygamous, polychrome and polytheist.


Q-Z
Quer and quis
- means to question. Query, inquisition.

Tele
- means far. Telephone.

Therm
- means heat. Thermometer.

Script
- means write. Manuscript, postscript.

Sect
- means cut. Intersect, dissect and section.

Semi
- means half. Semicircle and semifinalist.

Un
- means not. Unfinished, uncooked and unreadable.

Vis, vid
- means see. Envision, evident.

Vit
- means life. Vitamin, vitality.

Zoo
- means animal. Zoology, Zoologist.
Now you're armed with everything you need to be a great etymologist and get to the meaning of words by understanding their roots.
It's all
GREEK
to me!
A lot of today's English words have Greek roots, as well. Some common Greek roots include:


Arch
– chief

Auto
– referring to the self

Biblio
– anything pertaining to a book

Bios
– life or living things in general

Cosmos
– order or world

Cracy
– any type of government entity

Demos
- pertaining people


Derma
- referring to the skin

Ethnos
– race or nation

Gastro
– pertaining to the stomach

Geo
– pertaining to the earth

Hydro
– pertaining to water

Hypno
– pertaining to sleep

Isos
– equal, alike or identical

Kilo
- thousand

Lithos
– referring to stone

Logos
– word or study

Mania
– pertaining to madness

Mega
– large or powerful

Monos
– pertaining to one

More
GREEK
words:

Neuron
– pertaining to the nerve

Nomos
– law or science

Octo
- eight

Pan
– pertaining to all or every

Phobia
– fear or dread of something

Phone
– referring to sound or speaking

Psycho
– pertaining to the soul or the mind

Scopos
– to spy, watch or see

Static
–causing to stand

Tele
– referring to something far off

Therapy
– pertaining to curing

Thermo
– pertaining to heat

Thesis
– a position or opinion

Zoon
– pertaining to animals
Continued...
"Give me any word and I show you the Greek root." - My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Making educated guesses:
For example, you may not know what the Swedish word
"smörgåsbord"
means. But given the sentence, "The hungry travelers eyed many dishes of food covering the
smörgåsbord
table," you might guess that
"smörgåsbord"
is a kind of buffet-style meal.

Likewise, you may not know what the Japanese word
"Kimono"
means. But given the sentence, "The women walked through the cherry tree-lined streets Kyoto in a beautiful
kimono
," you might guess that a
"kimono"
is a type of traditional dress worn by Japanese women.
Since the English language has borrowed from virtually every language, you will likely encounter words that you won't be able to decipher using the previously mentioned Greek and Latin roots. In which case, it is good to look at the context the word appears in, and make an educated guess.
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