English Root Words – Vocabulary for Verbal Ability

Root Words

Learning root words in English not only helps you get top results in the verbal ability area of competitive tests, but it also helps you improve your overall English vocabulary abilities.

English is a crucial portion of different government exams such as Bank, SSC, RRB, and so on, and aspirants preparing for these exams must have a decent vocabulary to master this section.

Because the English language is so wide and diverse, it is impossible to remember each and every word and its meaning. As a result, English root words can assist you in readily understanding the meaning of all the words.

As a result, this article will present a list of root terms together with extensive explanations. Candidates will also be able to download the root words pdf for their convenience.

List of English Root Words

To comprehend vocabulary, we must first comprehend each term and the history associated with it. Because it is a synthesis of all popular languages such as Spanish, Latin, and Greek, English is regarded as a global language. Learning the basic terms would make it easier for aspirants to figure out the meaning of new words when they come across them.

What Exactly Is the Root Word?

English Root Words

A root word is a term that serves as the foundation for new words by incorporating affixes (prefixes or suffixes). It is the most fundamental component of any word.

The essential structure of roots is affixed or suffixed, and the result is a new word. Understanding the common root terms can help you make solid guesses about the meaning of new words, which will enhance your vocabulary.

Check out General English for Competitive Exams for a variety of conceptually oriented subjects and explanations.

Let’s look at some root words in English, their combinations, and the various new words that result from them.

Candidates can learn more about the subject by watching the video English Vocabulary – Root Words.

English Root Word List

  1. Root Word – Mal – a Latin word, Meaning – bad or evil. 

English words with the root word’mal’ –

  • Malign – to slander something.
  • Malice – malicious intent Maltreat – Neglect someone or something.
  • Malfunction – ineffective operation
  • bleak – a bleak situation
  • Malevolent – Someone who purposefully tries to hurt someone.

All words with the root word’mal’ have a negative meaning.

Candidates can prepare for the English portion by reviewing the List of Homophones/Homonyms in the provided link.

2. Root Word – Phobia, Meaning – Fear or dislike

English words formed of it –

  • Demophobia – Demophobia is defined as a dread of public speaking.
  • People who are afraid of animals are said to have zoophobia.
  • Theophobia – Because that is God/Religion, a person who fears religion suffers from theophobia.
  • Pedophobia – Because pedo means “kid,” a person who dislikes children has pedophobia.
  • Gynophobia – hate of girls/women because Gyno is a girl/woman.

You can view the List of Phobias in the provided link, which is also useful for the general awareness part.

3. Fin is a Latin term that means “to end something, limit, or boundary.”

English terms with the word ‘Fin’ in them –

  • There is no limit to infinity.
  • Infinitesimal – infinitely small
  • Confinement – the final stage of pregnancy
  • Precise – Definite

As we can see, the terms signify to come to an end or limit something. Examples: At the end of the course, we take a final test. Anyone who watches reality television shows will have seen the Finale episode or the final episode of the season. The Finish line is the finish line of a race.

4. Root word – Phil – a Greek word, Meaning – to Love. 

English word with root word ‘Phil’-

  • A bibliophile is someone who enjoys reading.
  • Philologist – a language expert who loves words
  • A philanthropist is someone who cares about people.
  • A philosopher is someone who values wisdom.

Philodendron – A type of tree that folds up while growing and is known as a love tree.

English Root Word

As we can see, all of the root words are related to love. Did you know that the name Philadelphia means “City of Brotherly Love”?

5. Root word – Logy a Greek word, Meaning – to study something

Words formed with the root word ‘logy’ are –

  • The analogy is the study of two or more items being compared.
  • Anthropology is the study of humans, as the word “anthropic” implies “human.”
  • Theology is the study of religion because ‘the’ implies God.
  • Morphology refers to the study of structures. Morph stands for structures.

The examples of ‘logy’ root words presented above are part of the one-word replacement, which is another significant topic to examine in the English language department. Candidates can use the category-specific list of one-word substitutions to help them prepare.

6. Root word – Thie, a Greek word – meaning – God/Religion

English words formed using the root word ‘Thei’ are –

  • Theist – Because ‘ist’ means “follower,” a theist is someone who believes in God.
  • Atheist – Someone who does not believe in God.
  • Pantheist – Pan means “all over,” hence a Pantheist is someone who believes in God in all religions.
  • Monotheist – Because mono means “one,” persons who believe in only one god are monotheists.

Check out the One Word Substitution Questions and Answers from various government exams.

7. Root term – Fact – Latin origin – Meaning – something that is “made” or “done” Let’s look at the different words that have this root word –

  • A factory is a location where something is “produced.”
  • Manufactured: A location where something is made. Manufactured originally meant something produced on a huge scale.
  • Artifact – anything produced by human hands
  • A factor is a “creator.” A beautiful painting done by someone, for example, is a deciding factor in who earned the title of master- painter.
  • A benefactor is someone who does good for others.
  • Stupefaction – anything that utterly surprised you
  • Petrifaction is a superpower that causes individuals to turn into stones simply by looking at them.
  • Malefactor – someone who causes harm to humans.
  • Satisfaction – enough done

All words derived from the root word ‘fact’ refer to something done or made.

8. Dict/Dic – a Latin term – Meaning- To say

English words with Dict/Dic in them –

  • Prediction – mention anything before time.
  • Dictated – tell someone something Verdict – speak or say the truth
  • Indicate – make something known by expressing it.
  • Contradict – express something in opposition to Dictionary – a book that informs us how to pronounce a specific word correctly.
  • When we wish to proclaim or declare that we are in love with something, we use the word addicted.

Candidates preparing for various government exams should review the following topics:

  • Idioms And Phrases
  • List of Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Letter Writing Format
  • Active And Passive Voice Rules

9. Cide is a Latin term that means “a person or anything that kills” or “the act of killing.”

Many words in the English language are derived from the base word Cide –

  • Patricide – Because Patri means “Father,” killing one’s father is considered Patricide.
  • Uxoricide – A husband murders his wife; Uxor means “wife.”
  • Maritricide – Because marit is a husband, matricide is the killing of one’s husband.
  • Infanticide – A child is an infant, and killing a child is infanticide.

As a result, words with the root word Cide connote the killing of someone or something.

10. Anti is a Greek word with the meaning “opposite” or “against.”

English words derived from the root word ‘Anti’ –

  • Antiseptic – works to prevent infection
  • Antidote – a substance that works against the poison’s effect.
  • Antisocial – acting in opposition to social standards
  • Antioxidants are chemicals that operate against chemical processes that harm an organism’s cells.

Remember that everything containing the root word ‘anti’ is designed to do the opposite of or in opposition to something.

Candidates can use the websites provided below to practice and revise crucial verbal ability themes tested in various government examinations.

Check out the linked website for additional such questions and answers on numerous topics, as well as more concepts and rules-based explanations of many topics addressed in the Verbal Ability area.

Common English Words with Root Words

Certain root words can be used as a solo term or as part of other common words in the English language. Some common English terms that are also root words are listed below:

  • Other English words for act include actor, acting, and reenactment.
  • Crypt – To conceal; other English words include cryptic, apocryphal, and cryptography.
  • Ego – Self-importance, Other terms created from it egomaniac, egocentric, egotist
  • Legal means “connected to the law,” and equivalent synonyms in English include “illegal,” “legalities,” and “paralegal.”
  • Meaning – shape, terms derived from it – conform, reform, formulate
  • Phobia – meaning fear – terms derived from this root word have already been addressed.
  • Other English words for norm include anomalous, paranormal, and normalcy.

The list of root words that derive from Latin or Greek roots and serve as the foundation for several English words is provided below.

Root Words from the Greek Language
Root WordsMeaningExamples
meter/metrmeasurethermometer, perimeter
telefar offtelevision, telephone
psychosoul; spiritpsychology, psychic
thermheatthermal, thermometer
technoart; science; skilltechnique, technological
pseudonot genuine, falsepseudonym, pseudoscience
morphform; shapemorphology, morphing
photo/phoslightphotograph, phosphorous
phonsoundphone, symphony
hydrwaterhydration, dehydrate
monoonemonologue, monotonous
mis/misohatemisanthrope, misogyny
microsmallmicrobe, microscope
heterodifferentheteronym, heterogeneous
scopeviewing instrumentmicroscope, telescope
hypobelow; beneathhypothermia, hypothetical
homosamehomonym, homogenous
chrontimechronological, chronic
gramthing writtenepigram, telegram
autoselfautobiography, automobile
dynapowerdynamic, dynamite
biolifebiology, biography
dysbad; hard; unluckydysfunctional, dyslexic
phobiafearclaustrophobia, phobic
logystudy ofbiology, psychology
graphwritinggraphic, phonograph
nymnameantonym, synonym
anthropman; human; humanityanthropologist, philanthropy

The table below gives the English root words taken from the Latin language:

English Root Words From the Latin Language
Root WordsMeaningExamples
aquawateraquarium, aquamarine
benegoodbenefactor, benevolent
circumaroundcircumference, circumstance
duc/ductto leadconduct, induce
centone hundredcentury, percent
malbadmalevolent, malefactor
matermothermaterial, maternity
formshapeconform, reform
ambibothambiguous, ambidextrous
dictto saydictation, dictator
mitto sendtransmit, admit
fortstrengthfortitude, fortress
fractto breakfracture, fraction
structto builddestruction, restructure
scrib/scribeto writeinscription, prescribe
jectthrowprojection, rejection
multimanymultimedia, multiple
facto do; to makefactory, manufacture
audto hearaudience, audition
sect/secto cutbisect, section
judjudgejudicial, prejudice
mortdeathmortal, mortician
paterfatherpaternal, paternity
portto carryportable, transportation
contra/counteragainstcontradict, encounter
ruptto breakbankrupt, disruption
vocvoice; to callvocalize, advocate
spectto lookinspection, spectator
vid/visto seevideo, televise
sentto feel; to sendconsent, resent

About The Author

Knowledge Glow

I am Komal Gupta, the founder of Knowledge Glow, and my team and I aim to fuel dreams and help the readers achieve success. While you prepare for your competitive exams, we will be right here to assist you in improving your general knowledge and gaining maximum numbers from objective questions. We started this website in 2021 to help students prepare for upcoming competitive exams. Whether you are preparing for civil services or any other exam, our resources will be valuable in the process.

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