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Our suffix word lists are the second part of our comprehensive root word tables:

Suffixes are word endings that add a certain meaning to the word.
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Suffix Meanings Sample Words and Definitions

-able able to be excitable, portable, preventable

-ac pertaining to cardiac, hemophiliac, maniac

-acity (-ocity) quality of perspicacity, sagacity, velocity

-ade act, action or process, product blockade, cavalcade, promenade,

-age action or process passage, pilgrimage, voyage

-aholic (-
one with an obsession for workaholic, shopaholic, alcoholic

-al relating to bacterial, theatrical, natural

-algia pain neuralgia, nostalgia,

-an (-ian) relating to, belonging to Italian, urban, African

-ance state or quality of brilliance, defiance, annoyance

-ant a person who applicant, immigrant, servant

inclined to, tending to brilliant, defiant, vigilant

-ar of or relating to, being lunar, molecular, solar

a person who beggar, burglar, liar

-ard a person who does an action coward, sluggard, wizard

-arian a person who disciplinarian, vegetarian, librarian

-arium (orium) a place for terrarium, aquarium, solarium

-ary of or relating to literary, military, budgetary

-ate state or quality of (adj.) affectionate, desolate, obstinate

makes the word a verb (different pronunciation) activate, evaporate, medicate

-ation action or process creation, narration, emancipation

-ative tending to (adj.) creative, preservative, talkative

-cide act of killing homicide, suicide, genocide

-cracy rule, government, power bureaucracy, aristocracy, theocracy

-crat someone who has power aristocrat, bureaucrat, technocrat

-cule diminutive (making something small) molecule, ridicule,

-cy state, condition or quality efficiency, privacy, belligerency

-cycle circle, wheel bicycle, recycle, tricycle

-dom condition of, state, realm boredom, freedom, wisdom

-dox belief, praise orthodox, paradox

-ectomy surgical removal of appendectomy, hysterectomy

Suffix Meanings Sample Words and Definitions

-ed past tense called, hammered, laughed

-ee receiver, performer nominee, employee, devotee

-eer associated with/engaged in engineer, volunteer

-emia blood condition anemia, hypoglycemia, leukemia

-en makes the word a verb awaken, fasten, strengthen

-ence state or condition, action absence, dependence, negligence

-ency condition or quality clemency, dependency, efficiency

inclined to performing/causing, or one who competent, correspondent,

performs/causes absorbent

-er more bigger, faster, happier

action or process flutter, ponder, stutter

a person who does an action announcer, barber, teacher

-ern state or quality of eastern, northern, western

-escence state or process adolescence, convalescence

-ese relating to a place Chinese, Congolese, Vietnamese

-esque in the style of Kafkaesque, grotesque, burlesque

-ess female actress, heiress, lioness

-est most funniest, hottest, silliest

-etic relating to (makes the word an adj.) athletic, energetic, poetic

-ette diminutive (makes something smaller) cigarette, diskette, kitchenette

-ful full of helpful, thankful, cheerful

-fy make, cause (makes the word a verb) amplify, falsify, terrify

-gam/gamy marriage, union monogam, polygamy

-gon/gonic angle hexagon, polygonic, pentagon

childhood, neighborhood,
-hood state, condition, or quality

-ial relating to celestial, editorial, martial

-ian relating to Martian, utopian, pediatrician

-iasis diseased condition elephantiasis, psoriasis

-iatric healing practice pediatric, psychiatric,

-ible able to be audible, plausible, legible

-ic/ical relating to, characterized by analytic/al, comic/al, organic

-ile relating to, capable of agile, docile, volatile

-ily in what manner sloppily, steadily, zanily

-ine relating to canine, feminine, masculine

-ing materials bedding, frosting, roofing

Suffix Meanings Sample Words and Definitions

action or process dancing, seeing, writing

-ion action or process celebration, completion, navigation

-ious having the qualities of, full of ambitious, cautious, gracious

-ish relating to, characteristic apish, brutish, childish

-ism state or quality altruism, despotism, heroism

-ist a person, one who does an action artist, linguist, pianist

-ite resident of, follower, product of suburbanite, luddite, dynamite

appendicitis, tonsillitis,
-itis inflammation, preoccupation

-ity state, condition, or quality abnormality, civility, necessity

-ive inclined to; quality of; that which attractive, expensive, repulsive

colonization, fertilization,
-ization act or process of making

-ize cause, treat, become antagonize, authorize, popularize

-less without fearless, helpless, homeless

-let version of booklet, droplet, inlet

-like resembling, characteristic childlike, homelike, lifelike

-ling younger or inferior duckling, underling

-loger/logist one who does astrologer, cardiologist, chronologer

-log speech dialog, monolog,

-ly in what manner badly, courageously, happily

-ment action, result movement, placement, shipment

-ness state or quality (makes a noun) kindness, shyness, weakness

-oid resembling humanoid, tabloid, hemorrhoid

-ology study of, science of anthropology, archaeology, biology

-oma tumor, swelling carcinoma, osteoma, hematoma

-onym name, word synonym, antonym, homonym

-opia eye defect myopia, nyctalopia, hyperopia

-opsy examination biopsy, autopsy, necropsy

-or a person who inventor, legislator, translator

-ory relating to armory, dormitory, laboratory

diagnosis, prognosis, neurosis,

-osis process, diseased condition

-ostomy/otomy surgical colostomy, lobotomy, craniotomy

-ous full of hazardous, humorous, wondrous

homeopath, naturopath,
-path one who engages in
Suffix Meanings Sample Words and Definitions

-pathy feeling, diseased sympathy, apathy, neuropathy

-phile one who loves bibliophile, audiophile, pyrophile

acrophobia, claustrophobia,
-phobia abnormal fear of

-phone sound homophone, telephone, microphone

-phyte plant, to grow zoophyte, cryptophyte, epiphyte

paraplegia, quadriplegia,
-plegia paralysis

paraplegic, technoplegic,
-plegic one who is paralyzed

-pnea air, spirit apnea, hyperpnea, orthopnea

arthroscopy, gastroscopy,
-scopy/scope visual exam

-scribe/script to write transcript, describe, manuscript

-sect to cut dissect, insect, bisect

-ship state or condition of, skill of authorship, citizenship, friendship

-sion state or quality confusion, depression, tension

cumbersome, quarrelsome,
-some characterized by, group of

philosophy, theosophy,
-sophy/sophic wisdom, knowledge

-th state or quality depth, length, strength

-tion state or quality attention, caution, fascination

hysterectomy, epitome,
-tome/tomy to cut

-trophy nourishment, growth atrophy, hypertrophy, dystrophy

-tude state, condition or quality fortitude, gratitude, magnitude

-ty state, condition or quality ability, honesty, loyalty

-ular relating to or resembling cellular, circular, muscular

-uous state or quality of arduous, tumultuous, virtuous

-ure action, condition closure, erasure, failure

-ward specifies direction backward, eastward, homeward

-ware things of the same type or material hardware, software, kitchenware

-wise in what manner or direction clockwise, lengthwise, otherwise

-y made up of, characterized brainy, fruity, gooey

List of Suffixes and Suffix Examples
Suffixes are a letter or group of letters added to the ending of words to change their meaning or function. These
useful, shapeshifting tools can be as small as -s, and -ed, or can be larger additions such as -ation, and -ious.

The Function of a Suffix

There are many suffixes used in the English language to create a rich vocabulary. These suffixes change the meaning
or grammatical function of a root word. For example, by adding the suffixes -er and -est to the adjective "fond," you
create the comparative "fonder" and the superlative, "fondest."
Take the suffix -ist, by adding this to a word you have changed the word to describe a person who performs or
practices something. So, art becomes artist, a person skilled in a particular art.
Let's look at the verb "read." This verb can be turned into a noun by adding the suffix -er, and so "read" becomes
"reader." Likewise, by adding the suffix -able the verb "read" now becomes the adjective "readable."

Examples of Suffixes
Some of the most common suffixes and their meanings are as follows:

Noun Suffixes
 -eer
Meaning: engaged in something, associated with something
Examples: auctioneer, volunteer, engineer, profiteer
 -er
Meaning: someone who performs an action
Examples: helper, teacher, preacher, dancer
 -ion
Meaning: the action or process of
Examples: celebration, opinion, decision, revision
 -ity
Meaning: the state or condition of
Examples: probability, equality, abnormality, civility
 -ment
Meaning: the action or result of
Examples: movement, retirement, abandonment, establishment
 -ness
Meaning: a state or quality
Examples: fondness, awareness, kindness, darkness
 -or
Meaning: a person who is something
Examples: distributor, investigator, translator, conductor
 -sion
Meaning: state or being
Examples: depression, confusion, tension, compulsion
 -ship
Meaning: position held
Examples: worship, ownership, courtship, internship
 -th
Meaning: state or quality
Examples: strength, labyrinth, depth, warmth
Adjective Suffixes
 -able, -ible
Meaning: capable of being
Examples: preventable, adaptable, predictable, credible
 -al
Meaning: pertaining to
Examples: theatrical, natural, criminal, seasonal
 -ant
Meaning: inclined to or tending to
Examples: vigilant, defiant, brilliant, reliant
 -ary
Meaning: of or relating to
Examples: budgetary, planetary, military, honorary
 -ful
Meaning: full of or notable of
Examples: grateful, beautiful, wonderful, fanciful
 -ic
Meaning: relating to
Examples: iconic, organic, heroic, poetic
 -ious, -ous
Meaning: having qualities of
Examples: gracious, cautious, humorous, fabulous
 -ive
Meaning: quality or nature of
Examples: creative, expensive, expressive, pensive
 -less
Meaning: without something
Examples: hopeless, faultless, fearless, restless
 -y
Meaning: made up of or characterized by
Examples: brainy, fruity, tasty, grouchy
Verb Suffixes
 -ed
Meaning: past-tense version of a verb
Examples: laughed, climbed, called, missed
 -en
Meaning: become
Examples: soften, fasten, lengthen, strengthen
 -er
Meaning: action or process, making an adjective comparative
Examples: faster, bigger, fuller, longer
 -ing
Meaning: verb form/present participle of an action
Examples: laughing, swimming, driving, writing
 -ize, -ise
Meaning: to cause or to become
Examples: memorialize, authorize, commercialize, advertise
Adverb Suffixes
 -ly
Meaning: in what manner something is being done
Examples: bravely, simply, honestly, gladly
 -ward
Meaning: in a certain direction
Examples: backward, wayward, awkward, afterward
 -wise
Meaning: in relation to
Examples: clockwise, edgewise, lengthwise, otherwise

Using Suffixes
Suffixes create variety in the English language. They provide endless ways to express our thoughts, feelings,
findings, and emotions. They morph nouns into adjectives and verbs into nouns. They express deeper qualities,
providing layers of color and intrigue required by writers.
Be aware that sometimes adding a suffix to a root word changes the spelling of the new word. To help you learn why
and when this happens read Suffix Spelling Rules.