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Biology Root Words For “Hypo” –

Last Updated : 20 Feb, 2024
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In Biology Root Word Hypo– is very commonly used in technical terms. Many biological terms contain a particular suffix, prefix, or root word. Here, let us understand the root word ‘Hypo-’, what it means, and some examples of it. The root words have a particular meaning and come from different languages, for example, Greek, Latin, etc. This root word ‘Hypo-’ originally comes from the Greek language and it means under, below, or less.

What is a Root Word?

Root word meaning a type of small part of a word which is called a morpheme, with a particular meaning. A root word can combine with affixes to create novel words, or they can sometimes act alone as independent words. Understanding the meaning of the root word helps us to form novel words with the same root. However, it is important to note that root words are not always independent words. They can be bound to morphemes, which means they require some affixes to form a complete word.




less likely to cause allergies


the practice of being less than genuine, pretending to be someone you are not


under the skin


located below the surface of the ground


under the tongue


an abnormally low level of sugar in the blood, a blood sugar level below what is needed for healthy blood


having blood pressure below what is normal


a temperature below the normal body temperature; low body heat


an idea that is under investigation


a disorder caused by a thyroid gland that is slower and less productive than normal

Examples of Root Word Starting With “Hypo”

Following are some biological terms starting with the root word Hypo-, along with their search rankings and meanings :

  1. Hypothyroidism: Hypo means under and thyroidism refers to thyroid which can be understood as underactive thyroid. It is a common condition of thyroid hormone deficiency that can be detected easily, but if left untreated may lead to severe fatal cases. The most common symptoms observed in adults are fatigue, lethargy, cold intolerance, weight gain, constipation, change in voice, and dry skin, which can change with age, sex, and other factors.
  2. Hypoglycemia: Hypo means low and glycemia refers to glucose. Thus, it can be understood as lower glucose levels in the blood which is often defined by a plasma glucose concentration below 70 mg/dL. In this case, the symptoms may not occur until plasma glucose concentrations drop below 55 mg/dL. It is a common complication observed in diabetic patients, mainly in those treated with insulin, sulfonylurea, or glinide.
  3. Hypoxia: Hypo means less and oxia refers to oxygen. It is a condition in which oxygen is not available in sufficient amounts at the tissue level to maintain adequate homeostasis. This can happen due to inadequate oxygen delivery to the tissues either due to low blood supply or low oxygen content in the blood (hypoxemia).
  4. Hypochondria: The Latin word hypochondria means under the cartilage (the breastplate), referring to the ancient Greek belief that the thoracic viscera were the source of melancholy, or sadness and worry. A person suffering from hypochondriasis is referred to as hypochondriac. Hypochondriasis now called as illness anxiety disorder, is a psychiatric disorder in which the affected person excessively worries about having or developing a serious undiagnosed medical condition.
  5. Hypothermia: Hypo means under and thermia refers to heat. Hypothermia thus refers to an automatic drop in body temperature below 35 ℃. It is most common in people who are exposed to a cold environment. It can also develop due to infections, and abnormal function of central nervous system and endocrine systems. Some of the signs and symptoms of hypothermia include shivering of the body with slow breathing. The pulse of the patient is weak and lack of coordination is there.
  6. Hypothesis: The term hypothesis means “little theory”. A hypothesis is a short statement that can be tested and gives a possible reason for a phenomenon or a possible link between two variables.
  7. Hypokalemia: Hypo means less and kalemia comes from Kalium which is Potassium. It refers to common electrolyte disturbances observed in people, especially in hospitalized patients. It can have many causes and sometimes, hypokalemia requires urgent medical attention.
  8. Hypomania: Hypo means less and mania refers to a specified type of mental abnormality or obsession. In this condition, a person undergoes a period of abnormally elevated, extreme changes in mood or emotions, energy levels, or activity levels. This change must be different from the usual self and be noticeable to others.
  9. Hypotonic: Hypo means less and tonic comes from tonicity which refers to the external environment. It refers to a state or condition characterized by having a lower degree of tone or tension. It is often used at the cellular level and the tissue level.
  10. Hypotension: Hypo means under or less and tension means strain or tightness. It refers to a decrease in systemic blood pressure below accepted low values which happens due to under constriction of blood vessels that results in low blood pressure. While there is no accepted standard hypotensive value, pressures less than 90/60 are recognized as hypotensive.
  11. Hypovolemia: Hypo means less and volemia refers to volume. It refers to a state of low extracellular fluid volume, generally secondary to combined sodium and water loss. All living organisms have to maintain an adequate fluid balance to preserve homeostasis. The symptoms of hypovolemia are pale skin, dry mouth, cooler skin temperature, increased thirst, etc.

Significance of ‘Hypo’ in Biology

This root word plays a very significant role in biology. Mostly in scientific research and medical cases the words starting from this prefix are prevalent. Some points that reflect the significance of this root word are listed below

  • It becomes easy for a scientist or a doctor to understand different terminologies containing the same root word easily and they do not confuse among different terms.
  • For a common person as well these words are easy to understand if they want to know the meaning. Thus, the root words help avoid confusion among the terminologies.

Root Words List in Biology:

  • Bio (life)
  • Morph (form)
  • Gen (birth)
  • Derm (skin)
  • Myo (muscle)
  • Osteo (bone)

Conclusion: Biology Root Words For Hypo

The root word -hypo in biology usually refers to less or reduced. Whenever we prefix this word to a main word it refers to reduced amount. The significance of this word lies in the fact that it easily helps to denote something that is under or below. For example, hypodermic that means below the dermis, hypothermia means temperature below normal body temperature, hypotension that means low blood pressure, hypoglycaemia means low glucose level, etc.

Also Read:

  1. Hypothalamus – Function, Hormones and Disorder
  2. Thyroid Gland – Anatomy, Function and Clinical Aspects
  3. Endocrine Glands

FAQs – Biology Root Words For Hypo-

What does Hypo- mean?

Hypo- originally coming from the Greek language means under, below, or less. It is used in many biological terms.

Name some Biological Terms Starting with Hypo-.

Many biological terms start with hypo-. Some of them are hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, hypoxia, hypothesis, and hypomania.

What is the Meaning of Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is often defined by a plasma glucose concentration below 70 mg/dL. However, signs and symptoms may not occur until plasma glucose concentrations drop below 55 mg/dL.

What do we mean by Hypovolemia?

Hypovolemia means a state of low extracellular fluid volume, which is generally secondary to combined sodium and water loss.

What is a Hypotonic Solution?

A hypotonic solution is a solution containing a lower amount of solute in comparison to the solute concentration in other solutions, across a semipermeable membrane.

What is the Root Word in Biology?

The prefix “bi-” or “bio-” comes from the Greek “bios,” indicating life. It is used in scientific terms to convey connections with life, living organisms, or biological processes.

What is the Origin of the Word Hypo?

Derived from Ancient Greek, the prefix “hypo-” stems from the combining form “hupo-” of the word “hupó,” meaning “under.”

What is a Hypo in Medical Term?

“Hypo” denotes below or less than normal. For example, in “hypodermic,” it means below the skin. “Hypotension” refers to a condition where arterial blood pressure is unusually low.

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