Body Parts: Os

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For more dissections of words with Latin and Greek anatomy, check out these lists: corpus, caput, ora, os, dens, gaster, neuron, manus, ped, podos, derma, carnem, os, cor, kardia, psyche

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definitions & notes only words
  1. ossify
    become bony
    And those ossified zombie monsters are horrific, even before we realise what they actually are.The Guardian (Apr 27, 2013)
    os (bone) + facere (to make, do)
    The example sentence uses the verb (as a participial adjective) literally to describe zombies that appear in an episode of Doctor Who. But the verb also has a figurative meaning: "make rigid and set into a conventional pattern." This is often a criticism about an inability to change. More than 40 years after its debut, Doctor Who continues to appeal to viewers, because it has found ways to avoid ossifying.
  2. osseous
    composed of or containing bone
    Do not all vertebrates require an osseous system?Burroughs, John
    os (bone) + ous (suffix forming adjectives)
    To be classified as a vertebrate, an animal must have a stiff column that runs through the length of its body (known as the backbone). The column is usually composed of individual bones, but some vertebrates, such as sharks, have a more flexible cartilaginous structure.
  3. ossiferous
    containing bones (especially fossil bones)
    The fragments of egg-shells, imbedded in the ossiferous deposits, had escaped the notice of all previous naturalists.Humboldt, Alexander von
    os (bone) + ferre (to bear, carry) + ous (suffix forming adjectives)
    The words and definitions look almost the same, but the main difference is in that extra middle syllable. An ossiferous object carries or holds bones that come from elsewhere, while an osseous animal grows its own bones.
  4. ossuary
    any receptacle for the burial of human bones
    But seekers of the macabre can bone up on Europe’s more bizarre ossuaries.Seattle Times (Mar 17, 2015)
    os (bone) + ary (suffix forming nouns)
    Osteophiles ("phile" is a suffix that means "one that loves") can tour a crypt in Rome where hundreds of skeletons decorate the walls, or they can visit a chapel in Portugal that is lined with the bones of thousands of monks.
  5. ossicle
    a small bone; especially one in the middle ear
    Within the tympanum is arranged a chain of remarkable "little bones," or ossicles.Hutchison, Joseph Chrisman
    os (bone) + cule (suffix forming diminutives)
    The three ossicles of the middle ear are the smallest bones in the human body. Called the malleus, incus, and stapes (or hammer, anvil, and stirrup), they are arranged in a chain that's linked by joints, membranes, and muscles. This allows sounds from the air to be transmitted to the inner ear.
  6. osteoclast
    cell that functions in the breakdown and resorption of bone tissue
    Normally, cells called osteoclasts clear away old bone tissue while others called osteoblasts lay down new bone.Nature (Dec 14, 2011)
    os (bone) + klastos (broken in pieces)
    Normally, osteoclasts and osteoblasts (the Greek "blastos" means "sprout") have opposite functions that complement each other. But when osteoclasts overtake the osteoblasts, bones are weakened and more easily fractured.
  7. osteoporosis
    abnormal loss of bony tissue due to a lack of calcium
    There appears to be scant evidence that calcium in milk helps prevent osteoporosis and improve bone strength.BBC (Nov 18, 2014)
    os (bone) + poros (passage, pore, voyage) + osis (suffix meaning "abnormal condition, a state of disease")
    Osteoblasts need calcium to build bone. The amount of calcium affects the density of the bone; thus, less calcium means more porous bones, which can lead to osteoporosis. One way to prevent this is to eat more calcium-rich foods. In addition to dairy products, other choices are: spinach, beans, almonds, fish, and fortified cereals and juices.
  8. osteoarthritis
    chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints
    Osteoarthritis is something nearly all of us can expect to face if we live long enough.New York Times (Apr 27, 2015)
    os (bone) + arthron (joint) + itis (suffix meaning "inflammation")
    The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is associated with the wear and tear of getting old, and would be better defined as the result of a gradual breakdown. The condition causes chronic pain, which makes sufferers less willing to move. But moderate exercise would actually decrease the swelling and stiffness in the joints.
  9. osteosarcoma
    malignant bone tumor
    In 1973, at 12, young Ted Kennedy lost a leg to osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer.New York Times (May 4, 2013)
    os (bone) + sarkos (flesh) + oma (suffix meaning "morbid growth, tumor")
    Unlike osteoarthritis, osteosarcoma is a rare disease that affects mostly young people. It usually occurs during growth spurts, when the increased activity of the osteoblasts creates more opportunities for the cells to mutate and divide uncontrollably.
  10. osteophyte
    small abnormal bony outgrowth
    That approach revealed that exercise does appear to promote the growth of osteophytes, or bony spurs, in the knee joint.Washington Post (Mar 1, 2011)
    os (bone) + phyte (suffix meaning "abnormal growth")
    Because of their shapes, osteophytes are commonly referred to as bone spurs or parrot beaks. They usually appear on the back of the spine, but they can also grow on the hands and feet. Sometimes, they are the results of other diseases, but they most often accompany osteoarthritis as a natural part of aging.
  11. osteopathy
    therapy based on the assumption that restoring health is best accomplished by manipulating the skeleton and muscles
    Sam said, “There is as much difference between Osteopathy and massage as between playing a piano and currying a horse.”Unknown
    os (bone) + pathy (suffix meaning "system of treatment of disease")
    An osteopathic treatment is similar to a chiropractic one (the prefix "chiro" means "hand"). But the practicality of both therapies is debatable. The example sentence seems to be defending osteopathy by putting it above massage and grooming a horse. But the source is a book entitled "Quacks and Grafters."
  12. osteology
    the branch of anatomy that studies the bones of the vertebrate skeleton
    In the meantime the skeleton has vanished from the room, and the science of osteology from our brains, leaving no trace behind.Tagore, Rabindranath
    os (bone) + logy (suffix meaning "science")
    One of the reasons that osteology is relatively unknown is that it is often covered by or linked with anatomy, anthropology, archaeology, zoology, and forensic science. The study of bones can lead to a variety of biocultural or bioenvironmental conclusions about vertebrates, including their ancestries, activity patterns, diets, diseases, or criminal connections.
  13. ostracize
    expel from a community or group
    It occurs when a person violates the norms of the community, and other people respond by publicly criticizing, avoiding, or ostracizing him.Slate (Apr 9, 2015)
    ostrakon (tile, potsherd, oyster shell) + ize (suffix forming verbs)
    The word can be traced to the Latin "os" but its modern meaning no longer directly connects to bone. In the past, the Greeks gathered to decide who was a danger to the community. Each citizen would write a name on a tile, potsherd, oyster shell, or anything with a hard, bony surface. The man who got the most votes was then ostracized for 10 years.

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