Substitute Words List

University of Utah Health Sciences Center

Since health writing usually uses technical terms, it is helpful to the reader to use shorter words whenever possible. Here is a list of words that are commonly found in health literature. Using the substitute word instead of the technical word will help improve the readability of your material. Use this list of substitute words for difficult-to-understand, abstract terminology.


Plain Language Thesaurus

University of Washington

This Plain Language Thesaurus has been put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Marketing. The thesaurus offers plain language alternatives to medical terms, phrases, and references that we often use