Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: dactyl-, -dactyl

Dactylogram - Fingerprint
This image shows a dactylogram or fingerprint. Credit: Andrey Prokhorov/E+/Getty Image

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: dactyl


The word dactyl comes from the Greek word daktylos which means finger. In science, dactyl is used to refer to a digit such as a finger or toe.

Prefix: dactyl-


Dactylectomy (dactyl - ectomy) - the removal of a finger, typically via amputation.

Dactyledema (dactyl - edema) - unusual swelling of the fingers or toes.

Dactylitis (dactyl - itis) - painful inflammation in the fingers or toes. Due to extreme swelling, these digits resemble sausages.

Dactylocampsis (dactylo - campsis) - a condition in which the fingers are permanently bent.

Dactylodynia (dactylo - dynia) - relating to pain in the fingers.

Dactylogram (dactylo - gram) - a fingerprint.

Dactylogyrus (dactylo - gyrus) - a small, finger-shaped fish parasite that resembles a worm.

Dactyloid (dactyl - oid) - of or denoting the shape of a finger.

Dactylology (dactyl - ology) - a form of communication using finger signs and hand gestures. Also known as finger spelling or sign language, this type of communication is used widely among the deaf.

Dactylolysis (dactylo - lysis) - an amputation or loss of a digit.

Dactylomegaly (dactylo - mega - ly) - a condition characterized by abnormally large fingers or toes.

Dactyloscopy (dactylo - scopy) - a technique used to compare fingerprints for identification purposes.

Dactylospasm (dactylo - spasm) - an involuntary contraction (cramp) of the muscles in the fingers.

Dactylus (dactyl - us) - a digit.

Dactyly (dactyl - y) - the type of arrangement of fingers and toes in an organism.

Suffix: -dactyl


Adactyly (a - dactyl - y) - a condition characterized by the absence of fingers or toes at birth.

Anisodactyly (aniso - dactyl - y) - describes a condition in which corresponding fingers or toes are unequal in length.

Artiodactyl (artio - dactyl) - even-toed hoofed mammals which include animals such as sheep, giraffes, and pigs.

Brachydactyly (brachy - dactyl - y) - a condition in which fingers or toes are unusually short.

Camptodactyly (campto - dactyl - y) - describes the abnormal bending of one or more fingers or toes. Camptodactyly is usually congenital and most often occurs in the little finger.

Clinodactyly (clino - dactyl - y) - of or relating to the curvature of a digit, whether a finger or a toe. In humans, the most common form is the smallest finger curving toward the adjacent finger.

Didactyl (di - dactyl) - an organism that only has two fingers per hand or two toes per foot.

Ectrodactyly (ectro - dactyl - y) - a congenital condition in which all or part of a finger (fingers) or toe (toes) is missing. Ectrodactyly is also known as a split hand or split foot deformity.

Hexadactylism (hexa - dactyl - ism) - an organism that has six toes per foot or six fingers per hand.

Macrodactyly (macro - dactyly) - possessing overlay large fingers or toes. It is typically due to an overgroth of bone tissue.

Monodactyl (mono - dactyl) - an organism with only one digit per foot. A horse is an example of a monodactyl.

Oligodactyly (oligo - dactyl - y) - having fewer than five fingers on the hand or five toes on the foot.

Pentadactyl (penta - dactyl) - an organism with five fingers per hand and five toes per foot.

Perissodactyl (perisso - dactyl) - odd-toed hoofed mammals such as horses, zebras, and rhinoceroses.

Polydactyly (poly - dactyl - y) - the development of extra fingers or toes.

Pterodactyl (ptero - dactyl) - an extinct flying reptile that had wings covering an elongated digit.

Syndactyly (syn - dactyl - y) - a condition in which some or all of the fingers or toes are fused together at the skin and not bone. It is commonly referred to as webbing.

Zygodactyly (zygo - dactyl - y) - a type of syndactyly in which all the fingers or toes are fused together.

Key Takeaways

  • Dactyl is derived from the Greek word, daktylos, which refers to a finger.
  • Dactyl, in the biological sciences is used to refer to an organism's digit like a toe or a finger.
  • Gaining a proper understanding of biology suffixes and prefixes like dactyl can help students master complex biological words and terms.
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Your Citation
Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: dactyl-, -dactyl." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Bailey, Regina. (2020, August 26). Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: dactyl-, -dactyl. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: dactyl-, -dactyl." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 1, 2023).