terato-, terata-, terat-, tera-

(Greek > Latin: marvel, omen, monster; malformation)

Used in the metric [decimal] system as one trillion [U.S.] and billionfold [U.K.]: 1012 [1 000 000 000 000] or a million million.

The metric symbol for tera- is T.

According to the Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1992: "Tera- comes "from a Greek term meaning ‘marvel' or 'monster,' with the sense that this is a huge and marvelous quantity."

It would make much more sense to have this metric unit (tera) based on tetra- from Greek for "four" then to have terato-, "monster"; which has no relative etymological connection with this or any metric unit.

1. Having a monstrous form or nature.
2. Shaped like a monster.
teras (s), terata (pl)
A monster.
teratic, teratical
Monstrous; having the characters of a monster.
1. In medicine, an anomaly of formation or development; the condition of a monster.
2. The worship of monstrosities; such as, the Egyptian goddess Hathor (represented as a woman's body with a cow's head), Bubashtis (as a woman with the head of a cat or lioness), and Thoth (who had the body of a man and the head of an ibis).
A malignant neoplasm consisting of elements of teratoma with those of embryonal carcinoma or choriocarcinoma, or both; occurring most often in the testis.
1. An agent or factor which causes malformation of a developing embryo.
2. An environmental agent that can cause abnormalities in a developing organism resulting in either fetal death or congenital abnormality.

Normally a human fetus is separated from the mother by the placental barrier, but if the barrier is imperfect and permits a number of chemical and infectious agents to pass to the fetus, then abnormalities may result.

teratogenesis, teratogenetic, teratogenic, teratogeny
The production of monsters or misshapen organisms.
Monstrous, resembling a monster (denotes any malformed animal, including man, that deviates grotesquely from the norm with the implication that the result is hideous, frightening, and revolting. Anyone who has viewed "freak shows" at circuses or carnivals has been exposed to teratological experiences.
1. In medicine, a reference to the study of birth defects and their causes.
2. Referring to that division of embryology and pathology that deals with abnormal development and congenital bodily malformations.
3. Used in biology to denote the study and science of malformations and abnormal growths in animals and plants.
4. Descriptive of the study of monstrosities or abnormal formations in animals or plants; involving monstrosity, monstrous.
A specialist in teratology.
teratoma (singular), teratomatous, teratomata (plural)
1. In medicine, a true neoplasm made up of a number of different types of tissue, none of which is native to the area in which it occurs; most often found in the ovary or testis.
2. A tumour, especially of the gonads, characteristically formed of numerous distinct tissues and believed usually to arise from germ cells or their precursors.
teratophobia (s) (noun) (no plural)
1. An abnormal angst of bearing a malformed baby: Marlene had teratophobia and dreaded giving birth to a handicapped, disfigured or ugly baby.
2. An excessive disgust of deformed individuals, including pregnant women: Some people suffering from teratophobia try to avoid those who are unappealing or aesthetically unattractive, hideous, unsightly, or repulsive.
1. The observation of or the augury from prodigies (people with exceptional talents or powers; from Latin, prodigiosus, "portentious, marvelous, unnatural").
2. Divination via the use of monstrosities.
An anomaly of formation or development; the condition of a monster.

Links to related end words Related bodily-malformation word units: melo-, -melia; phocomel-.