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a combining form occurring in compound words that have the general sense “healing, medical practice,” with the initial element usually denoting the type of person treated: geriatrics; pediatrics.
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Origin of -iatrics

Words nearby -iatrics

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -iatrics mean?

The combining form -iatrics is used like a suffix meaning “healing, medical practice.” It is used to name types of medical treatments or branches of medicine.

The combining form -iatrics ultimately comes from the Greek iātrikós, meaning “of healing,” from iātrós, “healer.” The Greek iatro-, source of iatro-, is a corresponding form of -iatric combined to the beginning of words.

The form -iatrics is specifically composed of -iatry, as in psychiatry, which is closely related in use to -ics, denoting a particular science, art, subject, or activity.

The combining form -iatric is used as an adjective form of nouns ending in -iatrics. A pediatric surgeon is a type of specialist in pediatrics, for instance.

Learn about their specific applications in our Words That Use articles for the forms.

Examples of -iatrics

One term you may have come across that features the combining form -iatrics is geriatrics, “the branch of medicine dealing with the diseases, debilities, and the care of aged people.”

The first part of the word, ger-, comes from the Greek gérōn, meaning “old man.” The second part of the word, -iatrics, means “healing” and is used to name branches of medicine. Geriatrics, then, has a literal sense of “healing older people”—that is, medical care for older folks.

What are some words that use the combining form -iatrics?

What are some other forms that -iatrics may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form ped- has various meanings, including “child.” What is pediatrics?

British Dictionary definitions for -iatrics


n combining form
indicating medical care or treatmentpaediatrics Compare -iatry

Word Origin for -iatrics

from iatric
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for -iatrics


Medical treatment:pediatrics.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.