Roots of words

How to use Roots of words to Improve Vocabulary

Learning many roots of words can be a handy method to improve your vocabulary. By studying various roots of words you can easily remember words and ace any competitive exam. Let’s first answer this basic question:
What does Roots of Words consist of?
Root of Words is a small list of word roots mentioned in the table below. Root of Words consists of Greek and Latin word roots. Word Roots are nothing else but the basic building blocks of words. Essentially you can break down every word into its constituent parts. These parts stand for a certain meaning and when multiple parts are combined to a form a word, we have a new word with a new meaning which is mentioned in the table of Roots of Words. English is an amazing language: it has literally borrowed from every language on the planet and build words these assimilations from different languages. The two most common language sources for word roots in English are Greek and Latin.

Word Roots Complete List

List of Commonly Used Roots of Words

The following Roots of Words consist of few examples along with its meanings.
Root: ram/i
Meaning: branch
Words and Their Meaning: ramification – the resulting consequence of a decision; ramify – to spread or branch out; ramus – a branchlike part.

Root: san
Meaning: health
Words and Their Meaning: sane – mentally healthy; sanitary – relating to cleanliness and health; sanitation – maintenance of public health and cleanliness.

Root: ortho
Meaning: straight
Words and Their Meaning: orthodontist – a dentist that straightens teeth; orthopedic – a doctor concerned with the proper alignment of the bones; orthography – the correct way of writing.

Root: pent/a
Meaning: five
Words and Their Meaning: pentagon – shape having 5 angles and 5 sides, pentagram – a five-pointed star formerly used as a symbolic figure in magic; pentathlon – an athletic contest that includes five events.

Root: pept, peps
Meaning: digestion
Words and Their Meaning: dyspepsia – abnormal digestion; peptic – aiding digestion; pepsin – a digestive enzyme.

Root: phil/o
Meaning: love, friend
Words and Their Meaning: philanthropist – one who loves humanity; philology – the love of words; philosophy – the love of wisdom; bibliophil – loving books.

Root: phon/o
Meaning: sound
Words and Their Meaning: cacophony – loud, unpleasant sounds; microphone – a device that records and amplifies sound; phonetic – relating to human speech sounds.

Root: radio
Meaning: radiation, ray
Words and Their Meaning: radioactive – emitting radiation; radiologist – someone diagnosing or treating via radiation.

Root: radic, radix
Meaning: root
Words and Their Meaning: eradicate – pull out at the roots; radical – fundamental, looking at things from a drastic point of view; radish – an edible root of the mustard family.

Root: sect
Meaning: cut
Words and Their Meaning: dissect – to cut apart piece by piece; intersection – the place or point where two things cross each other; bisect – to cut into two equal parts.

Root: rupt
Meaning: break, burst
Words and Their Meaning: bankrupt – unable to pay because you’re “broke”; interrupt – to break into a conversation or event, to disturb; rupture – a break in something.

Root: post
Meaning: after, behind
Words and Their Meaning: posthumous – after someone’s death; postpone – to delay something; postscript – an addition to an already completed document.

Root: retro
Meaning: backward, back
Words and Their Meaning: retroactive – relating to something in the past; retrogress – to go back to an earlier condition; retrospect – the remembering of past events.

Root: pos
Meaning: place, put
Words and Their Meaning: deposit – to place or drop something; expose to place out into the open for all to see; position – the place where someone is.

Root: poli
Meaning: city
Words and Their Meaning: metropolis – a large city; police – people who work for the government to maintain order in a city; politics – actions of a government or political party.

Word Roots Complete List

Root: peri
Meaning: around, enclosing
Words and Their Meaning: periodontal – pertaining to bone and tissue around a tooth; peripheral – lying outside of the center; perimeter – the outer boundary of an area.

Root: plaud, plaus
Meaning: approve, clap
Words and Their Meaning: applaud- to show approval of especially by clapping the hands; explosion- an act of exposing something as invalid or baseless; plausible- worthy of being applauded

Root: quad/r/ri
Meaning: four
Words and Their Meaning: quadrant – open space with buildings on 4 sides; quadrennium – period of 4 years; quadruped – a 4-footed animal.

Root: para
Meaning: beside, beyond
Words and Their Meaning: parasite – an organism that lives on and off another living being; parallel – alongside and always an equal distance apart; paragraph – a portion of a written document that presents a distinct idea.

Root: pyr/o
Meaning: fire, heat
Words and Their Meaning: pyrotechnics – the art of making fireworks; pyrometer – a thermometer for measuring high temperature; pyretic – relating to or producing fever.

Root: quin/t
Meaning: five, fifth
Words and Their Meaning: quintett – a composition for 5 voices or instruments; quintessence – pure essence, based on the ancient philosophy that there was a fifth element that was present in all things; quintuple – fivefold.

Root: ped/i/e
Meaning: foot, feet
Words and Their Meaning: pedal – a lever pushed by the foot; pedestrian – one who walks; pedicure – cosmetic treatment of feet and toes.

Root: pseud/o
Meaning: wrong,false
Words and Their Meaning: pseudonym – a fictitious name; pseudoscience – theories presumed without proof of a scientific nature; pseudopregnancy – a false pregnancy.

Root: psych/o
Meaning: mind, mental
Words and Their Meaning: psyche – the human spirit or soul; psychic – relating to the human mind or someone who has supernatural mental abilities; psychology – the study of the mind.

Root: scrib
Meaning: write, written
Words and Their Meaning: inscribe – to write letters or words on a surface; scribe – a person who writes out documents; describe – to represent with words or pictures.

Root: phot/o
Meaning: light
Words and Their Meaning: photogenic – caused by light; photograph – image made on light-sensitive film; photon – the smallest possible unit of light.

How should you learn using Roots of Words?
Well, we have this problem sorted for you with Roots of Words section. In this section of Roots of Words, we list word roots with their meaning and origin. Along with this, each word root article highlights the common words based on that particular root. You can use this section to expand your vocabulary and build on your word root knowledge.