Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -Osis, -Otic

Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a hardening of the arteries. This image shows an artery with cutaway section to reveal deposits of plague narrowing the passage for blood flow, illustrating the condition atherosclerosis. Credit: Science Picture Co/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

Suffixes: -Osis and -Otic

The suffix -osis means to be affected with something or can refer to an increase. It also means a condition, state, abnormal process, or disease.

The suffix -otic means of or relating to a condition, state, abnormal process, or disease. It can also mean an increase of a certain kind.

Words Ending With (-Osis)

Apoptosis (a-popt-osis): Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death. The purpose of this process is to remove diseased or damaged cells from the body without causing harm to other cells. In apoptosis, the damaged or diseased cell initiates self-destruction.

Atherosclerosis (athero-scler-osis): Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries characterized by the build up of fatty substances and cholesterol on the artery walls.

Cirrhosis (cirrh-osis): Cirrhosis is a chronic disease of the liver commonly caused by viral infection or alcohol abuse.

Exocytosis (exo-cyt-osis): This is the process by which cells move cellular molecules, such as proteins, out of the cell. Exocytosis is a type of active transport in which molecules are enclosed within transport vesicles that fuse with the cell membrane and expel their contents to the exterior of the cell.

Halitosis (halit-osis): This condition is characterized by chronic bad breath. It may be caused by gum disease, tooth decay, an oral infection, dry mouth, or other diseases (gastric reflux, diabetes, etc.).

Leukocytosis (leuko-cyt-osis): The condition of having an increased white blood cell count is called leukocytosis. A leukocyte is a white blood cell. Leukocytosis is commonly caused by an infection, allergic reaction, or inflammation.

Meiosis (mei-osis): Meiosis is a two-part cell division process for the production of gametes.

Metamorphosis (meta-morph-osis): Metamorphosis is a transformation in the physical condition of an organism from an immature state to an adult state.

Osmosis (osm-osis): The spontaneous process of water diffusion across a membrane is osmosis. It is a type of passive transport in which water moves from an area of high solute concentration to an area of low solute concentration.

Phagocytosis (phago-cyt-osis): This process involves the engulfing of a cell or particle. Macrophages are examples of cells that engulf and destroy foreign substances and cell debris in the body.

Pinocytosis (pino-cyt-osis): Also called cell drinking, pinocytosis is the process by which cells ingest fluids and nutrients.

Symbiosis (sym-bi-osis): Symbiosis is the state of two or more organisms living together in community. The relationships between the organisms vary and may include mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic interactions.

Thrombosis (thromb-osis): Thrombosis is a condition that involves the formation of blood clots in blood vessels. The clots are formed from platelets and obstruct blood flow.

Toxoplasmosis (toxoplasm-osis): This disease is caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Although commonly seen in domesticated cats, the parasite can be transmitted to humans. It can infect the human brain and influence behavior.

Tuberculosis (tubercul-osis): Tuberculosis is an infectious disease of the lungs caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria.

Words Ending With (-Otic)

Abiotic (a-biotic): Abiotic refers to factors, conditions, or substances that are not derived from living organisms.

Antibiotic (anti-bi-otic): The term antibiotic refers to a class of chemicals that are capable of killing bacteria and other microbes.

Aphotic (aph-otic): Aphotic relates to a certain zone in a body of water where photosynthesis does not occur. The lack of light in this zone makes photosynthesis impossible.

Cyanotic (cyan-otic): Cyanotic means characteristic of cyanosis, a condition where the skin appears blue due to low oxygen saturation in the tissues near the skin.

Eukaryotic (eu-kary-otic): Eukaryotic refers to cells that are characterized by having a truly defined nucleus. Animals, plants, protists, and fungi are examples of eukaryotic organisms.

Mitotic (mit-otic): Mitotic refers to the cell division process of mitosis. Somatic cells, or cells other than sex cells, reproduce by mitosis.

Narcotic (narc-otic): Narcotic refers to a class of addictive drugs that induce a state of stupor or euphoria.

Neurotic (neur-otic): Neurotic describes conditions that are related to nerves or a nerve disorder. It can also refer to a number of mental disorders that are characterized by anxiety, phobias, depression, and obsessive compulsive activity (neurosis).

Psychotic (psych-otic): Psychotic denotes a type of mental illness, called psychosis, that is characterized by abnormal thinking and perception.

Prokaryotic (pro-kary-otic): Prokaryotic means of or relating to single-celled organisms without a true nucleus. These organisms include bacteria and archaeans.

Symbiotic (sym-bi-otic): Symbiotic refers to relationships where organisms live together (symbiosis). This relationship may be beneficial to only one party or to both parties.

Zoonotic (zoon-otic): This term refers to a type of disease that can be transmitted from animals to people. The zoonotic agent may be a virus, fungus, bacterium, or other pathogen.