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Prefix ( In Biological Terminology )

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

  A prefix is a group of letters at the front of a word which changes the meaning of the word.  

Follows a short list of some of the most common prefix used in biology and horticulture.


A- = without (Abiotic, Acarpous, Asexual)
Ab- = away from, opposite to (Latin) (Abaxial, etc)
Ad- = towards, beside (Latin) (Adaxial)
An = without, lacking (Anaerobe)
Ante = before (Latin) (Anterior, etc...)
Anti-  = opposite, against: (Antibiotic, antibacterial, ect)
Append- = to hang something: (Appendicular, ect)
Auto-   (Autochory, autochtonous, autogamy, etc)
Bi- = two: (Biennial, bipinnate, binomial ect..)
Bio-   = life (Greek) (Biology, biochemistry, biodiversity, etc.)
De- = away from, opposite of (Decapitationdefoliation, dehydration, defasciation )
Di- = two (Dimorphism, dioecious, dicotyledon, etc...)
Dis- = to undo; free from: (Disease, ect)
Dors = the back (from dorsum, Latin) (Dorsal, dorsifixed, etc...)
Endo-  = within: (Endocarp, endosperm, ect)
Epi-  = upon, above, surrounding (Epicarp, epigynous, epiphyte, ect)
Exo- = outside (Exotic, exocarp, etc)
Extra- = outside (Latin) (Extracellular, extrafloral nectary, ect)
Geo- = earth (Eeophyte, etc.)
Hemi- = partially (Hemiepiphyphytes, etc...)
Hetero- = different, varied  
Homo = the same (Homozygote, etc)
Hydro- = water (Hydrophyte, ect)
Hyper- = above (hypertonic, ect)
Hypo- = below: (hypogynous, hypocotyl, hypanthium, ect)
Im- = not (imparipinnate, immature, ect)
Infra-  = under; below: (infraspecific, ect)
Inter- = between: (internode, interleaf, interbreed, ect)
Intra- = inside: (Intracellular, ect)
Iso-  = equal, uniform, similar (Isotype, etc.)
Macro- = large (macrobiotic, etc.)
Meso- = alf (mesophyte, mesocarp, etc.)
Meta-  = after: (metacentric, etc.)
Micro- = small (microorganism, micropyle, micropropagation, etc.)
Mono- = one (monocotyledons, monoecious, etc.)
Multi- = many (multicellular, multiple, etc.)
Neo = new (Neoteny)
Non = not (Nonwoody, etc)
Ob- = reversed (Obovate, obconic, etc)
Para = alongside (Latin) (Paratype, etc)
Patho- = disease (Pathology, pathogen, etc)
Penta = five (Obovate, obconic)
Peri-  = surrounding (Perianth, periderm, perigynous, etc)
Poly- = many (polydrupe, polyploid, etc.)
Post- = after, behind (Latin) (posterior, etc)
Pre- = before (premature, prefix, etc.)
Pseudo- = false (pseudocarp, etc.)
Retro- = back or behind (retrorse, etc)
Semi- = half (semidormant, etc.)
Sub- = under or below (subfamily, subglobose, subtend, etc.)
Super- = over or above (superdomain, superior, etc.)
Tetra- = four  
Topo = place, position and location (Topotype, etc...)
Toxo = poisonous, toxic  
Trans- = through, across, beyond (transpiration, etc.)
Tri- = three (triangular, etc.)
Ultra- = beyond; excess:  
Uni- = one (unicellular, unifoliolate, unilocular, etc.)
Wild- = not cultivated, or undomesticated  





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