Richard Nordquist is a freelance writer and former professor of English and Rhetoric who wrote college-level Grammar and Composition textbooks.
Updated August 31, 2018
In English grammar, a root is a word or portion of a word from which other words grow, usually through the addition of prefixes and suffixes. By learning root words, you can decipher unfamiliar words, expand your vocabulary, and become a better English speaker.
The Roots of Words
Most words in the English language are based on words from ancient Greek and Latin. The root of the word "vocabulary," for example, is voc, a Latin root meaning "word" or "name." This root also appears in such words as "advocacy," "convocation," "evocative," "vocal," and "vowel." By dissecting words such as these, etymologists can study how a word has evolved over time and tell us about the cultures they came from.
Root words are also useful for creating new words, especially in technology and medicine, where new innovations occur frequently. Think of the Greek root word tele, which means "far," and inventions that traverse long distances, such as the telegraph, telephone, and television. The word "technology" itself is a combination of two other Greek root words, techne, meaning "skill" or "art," and logos, or "study."
Greek Root Words
The table below defines and illustrates 25 of the most common Greek roots.
The following events, industries, causes and emotions (yes, emotions) are observed all month long in April unless otherwise indicated. Even cannabis (fast becoming legalized), Florida tomatoes, celery, and soft pretzels are honored, beginning April 1 through April 30—every year.
- African-American Women's Fitness Month
- Alcohol Awareness Month
- Amateur Radio Month
- American Cancer Society Month
- Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
- Black Women's History Month
- Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
- Celebrate Diversity Month
- Community Service Month
- Confederate History Month
- Distracted Driving Awareness Month
- Financial Literacy Month
- Fresh Florida Tomato Month
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month
- Jewish-American Heritage Month
- Keep America Beautiful Month
- Lawn and Garden Month
- Mathematics Awareness Month
- Month of the Military Child
- National Autism Awareness Month
- National Better Hearing and Speech Month
- National Canine Fitness Month
- National Cannabis Awareness Month
- National Car Care Awareness Month
- National Child Abuse Awareness Month
- National Couple Appreciation Month
- National Deaf History Month (March 13 to April 15)
- National Decorating Month
- National Donate Life Awareness Month
- National Fair Housing Month
- National Food Month
- National Fresh Celery Month
- National Garden Month
- National Humor Month
- National Internship Awareness Month
- National Inventor's Month
- National Jazz Appreciation Month
- National Landscape Architecture Month
- National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (last full week in April)
- National Mental Health Month
- National Month of Hope
- National Multiple Birth Awareness Month
- National Occupational Therapy Month
- National Older Americans Month
- National Parkinson's Awareness Month
- National Pecan Month
- National Poetry Month
- National Safe Digging Month
- National Siblings Day (April 10)
- National Soft Pretzel Month
- National Soy Foods Month
- National STDs Education and Awareness Month
- National Straw Hat Month
- National Volunteer Month
- National Welding Month
- Occupational Therapy Month
- Pets are Wonderful Month
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
- Records and Information Management Month
- Scottish-American Heritage Month
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- Stress Awareness Month
- Thai Heritage Month
- Women's Health Care Month
International and One-Day Observances
Because you may be in the business of working with internationals, we can not forget the participation of other countries. Here are a few international honorees, as well as some causes that are observed globally:
- April is International Guitar Month, recognized in several countries.
- Ontario, Canada recognizes April as Sikh Heritage Month.
- April is National Pet Month in the United Kingdom, although the U.S. waits until May to honor Postsits non-human family members.
- International Pillow Fight Day is observed on April 6 in 2019.
- World Autism Awareness Day also falls on April 2 in 2019.
- World Health Day is April 7, in 2019.