Home Latest Articles 5 Vocabulary Root Words with Meanings

5 Vocabulary Root Words with Meanings

by Chetna Vasishth

Learning new words is so painful
My speed of learning is disgraceful
This long vocabulary list is baffling
Looking at hundreds of words is mind numbing
But what if there was a secret code
To help me reduce my workload
By looking at the word, the meaning I could guess
That would be a delightful way for me to impress
So let’s learn the common code which is the root
To make you a Vocabulary Brute
Let us begin the session of knowing
And quickly, let’s get going

In this article video we will talk about
1. The 5 most common root words
2. Different words that can be made using these root words
3. Quiz
4. Answers to Quiz #6 from the previous class on Genders
5. Shoutout to the fastest five correct answers

This is my bamboo plant – the root cannot survive without the shoot and the leaves will not live without the root. (B Roll of Plant)

Like the shoot and root of a plant are incomplete without each other. In English language also, the root words are not complete by themselves. They need another word, or a few letters to make a complete word. The most common origins of Root words are Greek and Latin though there could be others too.

Why do we need to know root words if they are not complete words on their own? – This is because there are many words in the English language that originate from the same source, and these are the code words – once you know them each root word can help you understand dozens of words in a jiffy.

Example, baby steps, baby food, baby shower. Seeing the word ‘baby’, you instantly get to know that these terms must be related to babies.

1 . Fact

The sun rises in the east. The sky is blue. If you look at these sentences, you will realize that
these are facts. Who found them out for the first time? Who confirmed these facts nobody
knows but these are facts. Similarly the root word ‘fact’ indicates that either something has
been made already or a job done.
Origin – Fact is a Latin root word.

Examples are:
a) Factory – A chocolate factory is where chocolates are made (show image)
b) Factor – is the maker – e.g. his age was the deciding factor
c) Artifact – something made by an artist (show image)
d) Satisfaction – the feeling of fulfilment when a job is done.
e) Manufacture – make things by hand (show image)
f) Benefactor – someone who does good (benefits you)
g) Malefactor – someone who does bad (mal is another common root and we will take up

Do you know any other word with Fact? Put it down as a comment

2. Mal

Origin – Mal is a Latin root word.
Meaning – Mal is very bad, very stinky and evil.
(To be displayed on screen – MAL + WORD = NEGATIVE WORD)
Doctors have to deal with all kinds of problems that have the root word mal in them. e.g.

a) Someone may have a mal functioning kidney, which is “badly” functioning.
b) Malaria – doctors once believed that people could come down with mal aria if they
breathed in “bad” air.
c) Malformed – A baby may be born with a mal formed or “badly” formed organ (show
d) Malnourished – they may have to treat a child who is malnourished which means the
child lacks proper nutrition. So make sure you eat all the good stuff that mommy makes
for you. (show image)
e) Malignant – a surgeon may have to operate on a tumour which is malignant, which
means it is bad or cancerous (show image)
f) Malpractice – or a doctor may be subject to a malpractice suit because of work ‘badly’
g) Dismal – so when the malpractice suit is filed on the doctor he will have a dismal day – or
the players had a dismal performance – very poor
There is a more wicked meaning of Mal – which is evil e.g.
h) Malice – is the desire to harm someone and have evil intention
i) Malicious – person is one who performs ‘evil’ deeds and hurts other people
j) Malign – to malign someone is to say ‘evil’ things about them
Make some sentences with these words and put them down as comments under the video.
Links to classes 1-5 in the description box below

3. Anti

I am getting dandruff, I guess I will need an anti-dandruff shampoo otherwise I will have to stop
wearing black clothes..
Origin – Anti is a Greek root word.
Anti means ‘opposite’ or ‘against’ an activity or an idea. If you are Anti something, it means you
are against it.

Examples –
a) Antiperspirant– An antiperspirant prevents you from sweating or reduces the amount of
sweat from your body. It is against perspiration (show image)
b) Antibiotic – the word ‘bio’ means life – so an antibiotic is against living bacteria (show
c) Antibody – we are hearing this word a lot these days – An antibody is a protein produced
by the body’s immune system when it detects harmful substances,
d) An anti dote to a poison is a remedy given “against” the poison to stop it from killing
e) Anti glare– Something that prevents the glare that comes from sunlight. e.g. – Anti glare
f) Antifreeze – A liquid used in car engines to work ‘against’ freezing in the cold weather.
g) Anti skid – Something that is against skidding. An example for this can be anti skid tyres
so that your car or bike or even cycle does not slide off the road. (show image)
h) Anti social – someone who is against being social or meeting people
i) Anti ageing – something that stops or prevents ageing
j) Antiseptic – something that prevents sepsis from an infection or wound (show image)
Sometimes the ‘i’ is left out and this happens before vowels e.g.
k) Antonyms – opposite
l) Antacid – against acidity
m) Antagonist – a person who is against something e.g. the villain in a story
P.s Don’t confuse anti with ante – which means something entirely different
Do you know any more words with Anti – put them down

4. Dict

If you search on the internet for the most powerful dictators of all time, you will find Adolf
Hitler on the top of the list. Whatever he said, the people were forced to obey. If they did not,
their jobs would be in danger. Let us look at the root word dict.
Origin – Dict is a Latin root word.
Meaning – Dict means to say or to speak.

Examples :
a) Dictate – To dictate means to say or read aloud. Your teacher dictates the answer and you listen and write it down
b) Dictator – A person who dictates and everyone listens to them is called a dictator.
c) Dictation – in school when your teacher said the words aloud and you had to write them down
d) Diction – is the style of speaking
e) Dictionary – help with the pronunciation, or correct ‘saying’ of words,
f) Are you addicted to your dictionary – have you declared your love for it
g) Predict – means to say something will happen before it does
h) Verdict – is a decision that is said aloud regarding a court case
i) Contradict – to say something contrary or opposite to what is being said
Make sentences with these words and leave them as comments under the video
If you want to learn more vocabulary and grammar – do watch our ‘Learn English’ playlist and
link is below

5. Rupt

Rupt means to break or to burst
Origin – Rupt is a Latin root word.
Meaning – Rupt means to break open or burst – By the end of this video you will be “bursting”
with words that feature the root rupt , so ignore all dis rupt ions during the next couple of

a) Erupt – imagine a volcano bursting with lava, ash and lava erupting out of it
b) Interrupt – means to stop something which is going on, to break the flow. Now do not interrupt this video and watch it right till the end.
c) Disrupt – This kind of volcanic eruption would break people’s lives in a negative way – disrupt is exactly that where Dis is another root word meaning negative
d) Rupture – A rupture is something breaking or bursting suddenly and completely. Rupture can also be used for a divide in a pleasant relationship. The seed ruptured and a tiny plant came out of it
e) Corrupt – someone who breaks the law and acts dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.
f) Bankrupt – Let’s say someone borrowed money from the bank but now they have no money to pay back their loans – you are bankrupt – there has been a break
g) abrupt – something that is sudden and unexpected. Let us say you are talking to your friend on the phone. You remember that you have an online class coming up. You abruptly disconnect the call, break the conversation and run to your computer. This is what is meant by abrupt.
h) Uninterrupted – continuous or unbroken like an uninterrupted supply of internet or water or electricity.

Make sentences with these words and drop links below

And Now it’s quiz time

1. Mr. and Mrs. Albert’s rejected the construction plan as it was giving them _____ .

(dissatisfaction, satisfaction, benefactor.
2. The manager told his workers to _____ a set of products within a month.

(factor, factory,manufacture)
3. Dr. Hart noticed that all the children in the refugee camp were _____ .

(malfunctioning, malformed, malnourished)
4. It took the mechanic an hour to find which part of the car was _____ .

(malfunctioning, malicious, malnourished)
5. After four years of college, Jim changed from being _____ to becoming an extrovert.

(antagonist, anti social, anti ageing)
6. Doug could feel his stomach rumbling and began searching for the _____ .

(antacid, antiseptic, antidote)
7. “Do not _____ terms to me, I am not your servant.” – The man shouted.

(predict, dictate, contradict)
8. The Supreme Court will announce the _____ at 2pm.

(verdict, predict, diction)
9. There are some _____ politicians working for their own welfare rather than people’s welfare.

(corrupt, disrupt, abrupt)
10. Finally, the director was able to shoot a video _____.

(bankrupt, interrupt, uninterrupted)

The solutions to the last week’s quiz are:

1. Masculine
2. Common
3. Common
4. Neutral
5. Feminine
6. Server
7. Actor
8. Police officer / Police personnel
9. Partner / Spouse
10. Chairperson

The most awaited time, so a huge shout out to the winners of last week’s quiz. The lucky ones are:
a) Rimi Deb
b) Nandini Singh
c) x Jain
d) Meenakshi Chandani
e) Arunima Joaddar

Related Articles

Gender of Nouns in English Grammar | Masculine and Feminine Nouns

5 Phrasal Verbs with TAKE

Nouns and its Types with Examples


Related Videos

Leave a Comment