Vocabulary Building: “INCISION” (Etymology and Meaning)

In today’s video we’re expanding our vocabulary and learning a new English word – “INCISION.”

To understand the meaning of a word and to drive it deep into your memory it is very helpful to break it into parts and to study its origin.

This word is made up of three parts – the prefix, the root, and the suffix. The root is “cidere,” it comes from Latin, and it means “to cut.” The prefix in this word is “IN”, which means “In” or “Into” in Latin.

So, if the prefix is “IN,” and the root is “cidere,” then why is the word not INCIDERE? Well, that’s because some letters change when a Latin root is used in an English word. So, instead of the letter “D” we have the letter “S.” It just sounds better in English.

The suffix -ION means the “state of” or the “condition of.” Which also means that the word is a noun.

Thus, the translation is “the state or condition of cutting into something.” An incision is what a doctor does when she performs a surgery. She cuts into the patient’s body, and that cut as called an incision.



Tutor Phil

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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