Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-tomy Also -otomy.

Cutting.

[Greek -tomia, cutting, from temnein, to cut.]

Dichotomy, a contrast between two things represented as being opposed or entirely different, derives from Greek dikho-, in two or apart, hence ‘cutting in two’. The subject of anatomy, concerned with the bodily structure of humans, animals, and other living organisms, was so named because it relied heavily on dissection (Greek ana-, up, so ‘cutting up’). Most other examples refer to medical procedures that involve an incision. Some common ones are given in the list below. All contain the linking vowel -o- before the ending, making it in effect -otomy. See also -ectomy and -stomy.

Examples of words in -tomy
Examples are from Greek unless otherwise stated.

craniotomy removal of a portion of the skull kranion, skull
episiotomy a cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth to aid a difficult delivery epision, pubic region
keratotomy a surgical operation involving cutting into the cornea of the eye keras, kerat-, horn
laparotomy an opening made into the abdominal cavity lapara, flank
lobotomy an incision into the prefrontal lobe of the brain English lobe
osteotomy the surgical cutting of a bone osteon, bone
phlebotomy the surgical opening or puncture of a vein in order to withdraw blood phleps, phleb-, vein
thoracotomy making an opening into the chest wall thōrax, thorāc-, chest
tracheotomy an incision in the windpipe made to relieve an obstruction to breathing English trachea, windpipe

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