-lysis Also -lyse, -lyze, -lyte, -lytic, and -lyst.
Disintegration or decomposition.
[Greek lusis, loosening.]
Th ending -lysis forms nouns. They can either describe the agent by which the process takes place, as with hydrolysis, reaction with water, or photolysis, with light; alternatively they can suggest the thing acted upon, as in glycolysis, the breakdown of glucose by enzymes, or proteolysis, of proteins. Some can specify the nature of the process, as with autolysis, self-destruction of cells by their own enzymes. Analysis and its compounds stand at one remove, since the modern sense is figurative, based on Greek analusis, an unloosening, from ana-, up. Lysis can be a noun in its own right for the disintegration of a cell by rupture of its cell wall or membrane. See the list below for more examples.
Related verbs are formed in -lyse: analyse, catalyse, hydrolyse, paralyse, psychoanalyse; breathalyse is a rare example where no corresponding noun in -lysis exists. These forms are all spelled -lyze in North America. The ending -lyte forms nouns identifying substances that can be decomposed by a specified process, as in electrolyte. Related adjectives are created using -lytic: catalytic, hydrolytic, psychoanalytic. A few nouns indicating the agent involved in the process are formed using -lyst: catalyst, psychoanalyst.
Examples of words in -lysis
Origins are from Greek unless otherwise stated.
|analysis||detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation||analusis, from ana-, up|
|catalysis||the acceleration of a chemical reaction by a substance that does not itself undergo any permanent chemical change||katalusis, from kata-, down|
|cryptanalysis||the art or process of deciphering coded messages without being told the key||kruptos, hidden|
|dialysis||the separation of particles in a liquid on the basis of differences in their ability to pass through a membrane, especially the clinical purification of blood by this technique, as a substitute for the normal function of the kidney||dialusis, from dia, apart|
|electrolysis||chemical decomposition produced by passing an electric current through a liquid or solution containing ions||English electric, plus -o-|
|glycolysis||the breakdown of glucose by enzymes, releasing energy and pyruvic acid||glukus, sweet|
|hydrolysis||the chemical breakdown of a compound due to reaction with water||hudōr, water|
|paralysis||the loss of the ability to move||paralusis, from para, beside|
|photolysis||the decomposition or separation of molecules by the action of light||phōs, phōt-, light|
|psychoanalysis||a system of psychological theory and therapy||psukhē, breath, soul, mind|
|pyrolysis||decomposition brought about by high temperatures||pur, fire|
|thermolysis||the breakdown of molecules by the action of heat||thermos, hot|
|thrombolysis||the dissolution of a blood clot, especially as induced artificially by infusion of an enzyme into the blood||thrombos, blood clot|