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11th Grade Root Word and SAT Vocabulary
acro : high point, topmost, extreme • acrobat • acrobatics • acropolis • Acropolis • acrophobia • Ex: acronym • Def: a word formed from the first letter or first few letters of each word in a phrase or title. • The FBI is an acronym for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
ago/actum : to do, act, drive or perform • act • agent • agile • ambiguous • navigate • coagulate • prodigal • transact • actor • active • Ex: pragmatic • Def: practical or logical. • His pragmatic decision to close the play saved everyone time and money.
ana : up or back again • analysis • anatomy • anagram • analog • analogy • Ex: anachronism • Def: a person or thing that is placed in a time where it does not fit. • Is is an anachronism when in a movie about Egypt, the Pharaoh is seen wearing a wristwatch.
cede/ceed/cess : move or go • ancestor • cessation • intercede • precede • recession • Ex: antecedent • Def: something that happened before • The car chase was an antecedent to the fiery crash at the end of the movie.
cred : believe • accreditation • credentials • credo • discredit • credit • Ex: credulous • Def: someone who is too eager to believe things, often without thinking them through. • Would he find one person so credulous as to believe him?
cum, con : with, together • accumulate • acumen • circumvent • cumulous • document • combat • commemorate • community • content • confection • Ex: cumulative • Def: something that increases or gets bigger with more additions. • Her cumulative poor food choices resulted in an unhealthy weight gain in a short period of time.
di- : to • Click to edit Master text styles • didactic
dox/dog : opinion, judgment • orthodox • doxology • Ex: Paradox • Def: something that seems contradictory or unbelievable, but may or may not be true • The paradox about war is that it often brings peace.
ducto/ductum : lead or attract • aqueduct • conduct • deduct • induct • produce • surplus • viaduct • reduce • conductor • Ex: deductive • Def: related to using principles of logic to figure something out. • The answer lies in a crucial distinction between deductive and inductive reasoning.
eu- : good • eulogy • euphony • euphoria • evangelist • eugenics • Ex: euphemism • Def: a polite, vague word or phrase that is used in place of word or phrase that might be considered offensive, harsh, unpleasant or inappropriate to say. • “Pushing up daisies” is a euphemism for “died.”
flu : flow • effluent (outflow of water) • fluctuate • fluency • influence • influx • Ex: affluent • Def: someone who is wealthy with money, property or possessions. • The Smiths led an affluent life; they owned a mansion, expensive cars, and membership in an exclusive country club.
fract/frag : break, shatter • fracture • fragment • fragile • refract • infraction • Ex: fractious • Def: someone who is bad tempered, or someone or something that is difficult to control. • The fractious group of angry protestors congregated on the steps of the senate building to begin a march downtown.
gen : birth • congenital • endogenous • eugenics • generate • genitals • genre • indigenous • miscegenation • parthenogenesis • progenitor • progeny • Ex: genesis • Def: the beginning • The genesis of the project began with a conversation over dinner about the best way to fix infrastructure problems in the city.
grex/gregis : herd/crowd • gregarious • congregate • congregation • segregate • aggregate • Ex: egregious • Def: extraordinary, but in a negative way. • My little sister is an egregious liar.
holos : whole, entire, complete • whole • hologram • catholic (universal) • holy • holiday • holocaust • Ex: holistic • Def: relating to the idea that things should be studied as a whole and not just as a sum of their parts. • Holistic health care focuses on the health of the entire body and mind and not just parts of the body.
hyper : over, above • hyperactive • hypercritical • hyperextension • hyperglycemia • hyperventilate • hypertrophy (excessive growth of body part) • Ex: hyperbole • Def: a description that is exaggerated for emphasis • When someone says he is as hungry as a horse, he is using hyperbole to communicate his needs.
hypo : under, below • hypodermic • hypothermia • hypocritical • hypothesis • hypoallergenic • Ex: hypochondriac • Def: a person who always thinks something is wrong with him or who is abnormally worried about his health • Someone who visits the doctor for every ache and pain and is convinced each time that he has major illness.
laboro : work • labor • laboratory • elaborate • collaborate • labor of love • labor union • Labour Party • Labor Day • Ex: laborious • Def: describes something that requires a lot of work and that is often tedious or difficult • Researching and writing a term paper is sometimes a laborious task.
luc/lum/lus : light • elucidate • illuminate • illustrious • lackluster • lumen • Lucifer • luminescence • luminous • luster • pellucid (clear) • translucent • Ex: lucid • Def: easily understood or clear thinking • The main points are lucid, straightforward, and well worth listening to.
mand/mend : order • command • commendation • mandatory • recommendation • Ex: mandate • Def: a command to do something • Most teachers mandate that homework be turned in on time.
mis/mit : send or transmit • emissary • intermission • intermittent • remiss • remit • emit • mittimus (warrant) • Ex: missive • Def: a long letter, especially one written in a formal or official capacity • The woes I recounted to you in my last missive have been soothed by a letter from the Lady Marion.
miso : hate • misogyny • Ex: misanthrope • Def: Someone who dislikes and distrusts people • Grumpy, old Mr. Spencer was a misanthrope who didn’t like anybody and avoided human contact whenever possible.
monos : singular, one • monarch • monk • monastery • monogram • monologue • monopoly • monotone • Ex: monastic • Def: characteristic of monks or nuns or their way of life: ascetic, austere • They came from several countries and have taken lifelong monastic vows to keep them focused on their faith.
mons/montis : mountain • mountain • mountainous • mount • mound • insurmountable • amount • promontory • paramount • Ex: monolith • Def: a large upright stone column or monument, or a large building without character, or a large, imposing corporation
mort : death • immortal • morbid • morgue • mortgage • mortician • mortification • mortuary • post mortem • rigor mortis • Ex: moribund • Def: someone or something that is near death or that is lacking in life and vitality. • Recently, our economy has been moribund, with high unemployment and little job creation.
nov/neo : new • novel • novice • novelty • nouveau riche • nova • supernova • neonatal • innovate • neophyte • renovate • Ex: novitiate • Def: the period or state of being a novice (new at something); quarters assigned to religious novices. • He finished school in Dublin and then entered the novitiate of the Holy Fathers, also in Dublin.
ob : to, toward, in front of, against • object • obnoxious • obfuscate • obstinate • obstreperous • obdurate • Ex: obsequious • Def: showing too much willingness to serve someone or something • Obsequious service is expected at a nice restaurant, because the diner is paying for it.
ordo/ordinis : row, order • order • orderly • ordinary • ordinance • extraordinary • subordinate • inordinate • insubordination • Ex: ordinal • Def: expressing order or succession, specif. of a number in a series; an order of animals or plants • All ordinal numbers carry a suffix: -nd, -rd, -st, or –th. (first = 1st)
orthos : straight, correct • orthography • orthodontist • orthopedist • orthotics • Ex: orthodox • Def: someone or something that strictly adheres to religious beliefs or the conventional, normal way of doing things; normal accepted standards. • Traditionalists, as the name implies, tend to stick to orthodox religions.
para : beside, along with • parable • parachute • parenthesis • paragraph • parallel • parasol • paramedic • paralegal • Ex: paradox • Def: something that seems contradictory or unbelievable, but may or may not be true. • It is a paradox that we must sometimes go to war in order to have peace.
pathos : feeling • pathetic • pathology • apathy • antipathy • sympathy • telepathy • Ex: empathy • Def: the ability to understand the thoughts, feelings, or emotions of someone else • When my best friend told me she was getting married, I became as excited as she was, and we shed tears of joy together.
pax/pacis : peace • peace • appease • pacific • pay • payment • taxpayer • Ex: pacifist • Def: one who opposes the use of force under any circumstances; refusal to participate in war or reasons of conscience. • During the 60s, Jane Fonda was a pacifist who did not think we should be in the Vietnam War.
ped : child • pediatrics • pedagogy • pedant • pediatrician • Ex: pedophile • An adult with an abnormal sexual desire for children • Pedophiles released from prison are not allowed to live close to schools.
pen/pend : hang, weigh • pensive • suspend • suspense • suspenders • suspension • expensive • expend • append • appendage • pending • pendulum • Ex: penitent • Def: feeling or showing remorse for something • Ashley was penitent after she broke her mother’s favorite vase.
per : through, throughout • perpetual • perforated • peremptory • permeate • persevere • perceive • percolate • permeate • perpendicular • persist • perspective • pervasive • impervious • Ex: perennial • Def: a person or thing that exists or is active for a whole year or a long time; everlasting; perpetual • Some plants are perennials and bloom again every spring.
peri : around • perimeter • periscope • perigee • period • peripheral • periodic • periodontal • peristalsis • Ex: peripatetic • Def: not staying in one place • Her peripatetic lifestyle did not allow her to make good friends easily.
phob : fear • agoraphobia • claustrophobia • hydrophobia • Ex: phobia • Def: an irrational, extreme fear • A phobia or extreme fear of spiders is called arachnephobia
plus : more, many • plural • plus • plurality • E Pluribus Unum • surplus • Ex: nonplussed • Def: a condition of perplexity in which one is unable to go, speak, or act further • The statement that he was a chi huahua in human form left her nonplussed.
pon/positum : put, place • pose • post • postage • position • deposit • repose • depose • impose • component • Ex: expository • Def: something intended to explain or describe. • She explained how she conducted the experiment in an expository essay.
pung/punc : point, dot • compunction • punctual • pungent • expunge • Ex: punctilious • Def: describes someone that is careful with all the details of behavior. • Her punctilious attention to detail always guaranteed a successful party.
rideo/risum : laugh • ridiculous • ridicule • risible • deride • Ex: derision • Def: contempt or ridicule • The derision of the boy’s classmates made him cry.
sacr/sanct : holy • sacred • sacrosanct • sanction • consecrate • desecrate • Ex: sanctuary • Def: a place of refuge or rest, a place where you can feel at peace, or the holiest part of a temple or a church. • The sanctuary is quiet now, but soon it will be filled with devoted worshipers.
sanus : health • sane • sanity • insane • sanitarium • sanitary • sanitation • Ex: sanguine • Def: someone or something the color of blood or a reddish color. • Her sanguine temperament was disclosed by the deep color of her cheeks.
sci/scitum : know • science • scientific • conscience • prescience • conscious • omniscient • Ex: conscientious • Def: acting in a way that is very thorough and careful. • In order for his experiment to be successful, he was conscientious about measuring the right amount of liquid into the test tube.
simil/simul : like • facsimile • similitude • simulate • simulative • Ex: assimilate • Def: to become like others, or help another person to adapt to a new environment. • It is often difficult for people from other countries to assimilate into a new one.
spec/spic : to look at • inspect • spectator • spectacle • spectacles • perspective • speculate • spectrum • Ex: perspicacious • Def: being perceptive with clear vision and good judgment. • He was a perspicacious CEO who realized early on that his company needed to move in a new direction.
sta/sti/sist : stand firm, steady • ecstasy • circumstance • consistency • obstacle • resistance • stamina • stanchion • static • stationary • stature • status • substitute • thermostat • Ex: staid • Def: describes someone who is steady, sedate and distinguished • The staid, old professor was set in his ways and would not switch to the new grading scale.
stru/struct : build • construct • construction • construe • structure • Ex: misconstrue • Def: to interpret something in the wrong way or to understand someone's actions or intentions differently than intended. • She misconstrued something her boyfriend said and broke up with him.
tempus/tempor : time • temporal • temporary • temporize • extemporaneous • contemporaries • tempo • tense • Ex: contemporary • Def: existing at the same time or of the present time period. • Henry David Thoreau was a contemporary of Ralph Waldo Emerson because they lived in the same time period. • Taylor Swift is a contemporary of Justin Beiber.