The suffixes in the following list are extremely common suffixes but some have fairly specialized meanings. The suffixes “-ish,” “-en,” and “-less” derive from Old or Middle English. The rest derive from Latin or Greek.
Additional example words for each suffix in the list below can be found by going to A-Z Word Parts under Search Tools in the Wordsmyth dictionaries, filtering the list there for “Suffixes,” and browsing through the list. One may also use the search box on the A-Z Word Parts page to search the list for a particular suffix. Click here to learn more about how to use our Word Parts database.
|-less||Middle English adjective-forming suffix that means without||endless, fearless, wireless|
|-ance, -ence||Latin noun-forming suffix that means state, quality, or act of;|
The suffix -ance is usually attached to whole English words, whereas -ence is usually attached to roots: compare eloquence and acceptance
|acceptance, admittance, residence, science|
|-al||Latin adjective-forming suffix that means pertaining to||cultural, dental, manual, universal|
|-ist||Greek noun-forming suffix that means person who does or believes in; Many words ending in -ist have a corresponding abstract noun form ending in -ism, and many have a corresponding adjective form ending in -ic (realistic, artistic).||artist, chemist, dentist|
|-itis||Greek noun-forming suffix that means inflammation||appendicitis, arthritis, poliomyelitis.|
|-logy, -ology||Greek noun-forming suffix that means study of, science of; written work; structure or principle||biology, ecology, geology|
|-en||Old English verb-forming suffix that means to cause to be or become or have||darken, enlighten, strengthen|
|-fy||Latin verb-forming suffix that means make, cause to be, become||clarify, justify, satisfy|
|-ize, -ise||Greek verb-forming suffix that means to turn into or cause to be||civilize, immunize, recognize|
|-ous, ious||Latin adjective-forming suffix that means full of, characterized by||gracious, joyous, spacious|
|-ics||Greek noun-forming suffix that means science, study, or practice of; properties of; practices pertaining to||economics, physics, politics|
|-ish||Old English adjective-forming suffix that means of, resembling; somewhat||childish, ticklish, foolish|
See the full list of roots, prefixes, and suffixes in the A to Z Word Parts feature at wordsmyth.net.
Word Parts I: basic roots
Word Parts II: basic suffixes
Word Parts IV: basic prefixes
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