Common base words include "uni," "dict," "sci" and "psych." In general, root or base words are word fragments that require a suffix to form a full word. Lists of base words are available on Quizlet.com and YourDictionary.com.
Most base words are Latin or Greek in origin. Some base words can be used as full English words without adding a prefix or suffix. Examples of this type of base word include "audio," "graph" and "vent." Some base words have a different meaning as English words than as base words. For example, "graph" is a noun when used as by itself, but as a base word it means "to write" as in "graphics" or "autograph." Some educators believe that "base" describes only root words that are also able to stand alone, however "base" and "root" are generally accepted as synonyms.
Most root or base words are only partial words and do not make sense in English without the addition of a suffix or prefix. Examples of these partial words include "carn," which means "flesh"; "deca, which means "10"; and "erg," which means "work." Adding a suffix to these base words creates a word that is meaningful in English but still shares a similar root meaning. For example, "carnivorous" means "flesh-eating" and "decade" means "10 years."