Medical Prefixes that Describe the Degree

Review Flashcards

This set of flashcards contains medical prefixes used to describe the degree of a medical term. Each prefix is explained with a word example and a breakdown.

Check out the quiz version of this flashcard if you want to see how much you remembered.

#1 hypo-, hyp-

The medical prefix termย hyp(o)-ย means "low, below normal".

Example Word:ย hyp(o)/therm/ia

Word Breakdown:ย Hyp(o)-ย means "low, below normal",ย thermย is a word root that refers to "heat", andย -iaย is a suffix term that signifies "condition".

Definition: Hypothermiaย is characterized by abnormally low body temperatures, particularly below 35 degrees Celsius.

More Examples of Medical Terms Starting with Hypo-

Hypoglycemia: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + ( "sugar" or "related to glucose") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and confusion.


Hypotension: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + -tension ( "pressure")

Definition: A condition characterized by low blood pressure, which can cause symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, and fatigue.


Hypothyroidism: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + ย thyroid ( "related to the thyroid gland") + -ism ( "condition")

Definition: A condition that is characterized by underactivity of the thyroid gland, which can result in symptoms such as weakness, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold weather.


Hypoxemia: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + ox/i ( "oxygen") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low levels of oxygen in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue.


Hypovolemia: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + vol ( "volume") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low blood volume, which can cause symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting.


Hypocholesterolemia: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + cholesterol ( "related to cholesterol levels in the blood") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low levels of cholesterol in the blood, which is generally considered a healthy condition.


Hyponatremia: hypo-( "low or below normal") + natr ( "sodium") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low levels of sodium in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as confusion, muscle weakness, and seizures.


Hypokalemia: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + kal ("potassium") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low levels of potassium in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, cramping, and irregular heartbeats.


Hypocalcemia: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + calc ("calcium") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low levels of calcium in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as muscle cramps, spasms, and numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes.


Hypomagnesemia: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + magnes ( "magnesium") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low levels of magnesium in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, cramps, and irregular heartbeats.


Hypophosphatemia: hypo- ( "low or below normal") + phosphat ("phosphorus") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by low levels of phosphorus in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue, and bone pain.

#2 hyper-

The medical prefix termย hyper-ย means "high, above normal".

Example Word:ย hyper/therm/ia

Word Breakdown:ย Hyper-ย means "high, above normal",ย thermย is a word root that refers to "heat", andย -iaย is a suffix term that signifies "condition".

Definition: Hyperthermiaย is an abnormally elevated body temperature due to a failure of the body's heat-regulating mechanisms.

More Examples of Medical Terms Starting with Hyper-

Hyperglycemia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + glyc ( "sugar" or "related to glucose") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A disorder characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood, resulting in symptoms such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, and blurry vision.


Hypertension: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + -tension ( "pressure")

Definition: A condition characterized by high blood pressure, which can cause symptoms such as headaches, shortness of breath, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.


Hyperthyroidism: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + thyroid ( "related to the thyroid gland") + -ism ( "condition")

Definition: A disorder in which the thyroid gland is excessively active, resulting in loss of weight, rapid heartbeats, and shaking.


Hyperoxemia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + ox/i ( "oxygen") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by high levels of oxygen in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as increased breathing rate, decreased blood pressure, and headaches.


Hypervolemia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + volย ( "volume") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by high blood volume, which can cause symptoms such as swelling and an increased risk of heart failure.


Hypercholesterolemia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + cholesterol ( "related to cholesterol levels in the blood") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by high levels of cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.


Hypernatremia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + natr ( "sodium") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by high levels of sodium in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as confusion, muscle weakness, and seizures.


Hyperkalemia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + kal ("potassium") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by high levels of potassium in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, cramping, and irregular heartbeats.


Hypercalcemia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + calc ("calcium") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by high levels of calcium in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and kidney damage.


Hypermagnesemia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + magnes ( "magnesium") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by high levels of magnesium in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, confusion, and irregular heartbeats.


Hyperphosphatemia: hyper- ( "high or above normal") + phosphat ("phosphorus") + -emia ( "related to blood")

Definition: A condition characterized by high levels of phosphorus in the blood, which can cause symptoms such as itchy skin, bone pain, and an increased risk of kidney damage.

#3 norm(o)-

The medical prefix term norm(o)- means "normal". 

Example Word: norm(o)/cephal/ic 

Word Breakdown: Norm(o)- means "normal", cephal is a word root that refers to "head", -ic is a suffix term that implies "pertaining to" "

Definition: "Normocephalic" is defined as having a head size that is normal.

#4 sub-

Sub-ย is a medical prefix termย  thatย means "low, below normal".

Example Word:ย sub/cutane/ous

Word Breakdown: In this case,ย sub-ย means "low, below normal",ย cutane is a word root that means "skin," and -ousย is a suffix that means "pertaining to".

Definition: Theย subcutaneousย layer refers to the fatty layer under the skin.

#5 super-

The medical prefix term super- means "high, above normal". 

Example Word: super/ego 

Word Breakdown: Super- means "high, above normal", eg/o is a combining form that refers to "self". 

Definition: The superego is the part of the mind that works as a self-reflective conscience, evaluating social standards.

#6 ultra-

The medical prefix term ultra- means "high, above normal". 

Example Word: ultra/sono/graphy

Word Breakdown: Ultra- means "high, above normal", son/o is a combining form that refers to "sound", -graphy is a suffix term that indicates "process of recording". 

Definition: Ultrasonography is a form of imaging that utilizes high-frequency sound (ultrasound waves) to obtain images of internal organs or fetus.