Suffixes: Definition with Examples

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Suffixes: Definition with Examples

Suffixes are the letter/s which are added at the end of a stem to make new words. The affixes used in the suffixed words are different from the affixes used in the prefixed words, and they make different kinds of words.

Most of the affixes that are used in the suffixed words have no meaning of their own.

“A suffix (also called ending) is an affix that is placed after the stem of a word.”
– Wikipedia


Reader = ‘read’ is the stem of the word which has different meaning and different grammatical function in a sentence but the affix ‘er’ changes both the meaning and the grammatical function of the word to make a new word.

  • Reading
  • Readable
  • Creator
  • Creation

Note: It is not necessary that a suffix change both meaning and grammatical property of the words. It can perform either of them.

List of Common Suffixes

A suffix can make a word/stem of a word a noun, verb, adverb, or adjective. A suffix can also make a transition in the degree of an adjective or in the tense of a verb.

Noun Suffixes
Suffix Meaning Example
-age a condition leakage, bondage, marriage
-al an action    denial, removal, approval 
-ar one who performs the action beggar, liar, scholar
-cy state
urgency, emergency, fallacy
accuracy, decency, lunacy
-dom place
state of being 
kingdom, dukedom, earldom
boredom, freedom, stardom
-ee one who performs an action interviewee, internee, employee, nominee
-er one who performs the action reader, driver, maker, painter
-hood state of being boyhood, childhood, manhood
-ion condition union, opinion
-ism doctrine or belief marxism, Sufism, egotism
-ist one who is something dentist, chemist, Marxist, atheist
-ice the result of an action service, cowardice
-logy theory biology, geology, ecology
-ment the condition of an action acknowledgement, punishment, agreement  
-on/en/an doer artisan, citizen, surgeon
-ness state of being sadness, happiness, rudeness, business 
-nce  state
abundance, absence, presence
brilliance, endurance, obidience  
-or one who performs the action creator, supervisor, sailor
-ship position held internship, partnership, kinship
-sion state of being illusion, inclusion, extension
-tion state of being  creation, information, confirmation 
-tude result of an action fortitude, magnitude, servitude
-ty quality
flexibility, sensibility, frailty

serenity, safety, reality

Verb Suffixes
-ate do captivate, annihilate, exterminate 
-en do broaden, awaken, strengthen
-er do chatter, glitter, glimmer
-ish do publish, nourish, punish, banish
-fy make rectify, simplify, amplify
-ize become humanize, organize, socialize, legalize
Adjective Suffixes
-able capable of being presentable, readable, believable 
-al belonging to legal, local, mental, mortal, fatal, musical
-ar quality familiar, regular, circular
-ed quality gifted, talented, learned, cultured
-en made of golden, wooden, woolen, leaden
-ful notable for beautiful, wonderful, doubtful
-ible capable of admissible, divisible, sensible
-ic pertaining to allergic, mythic, domestic, historic
-ish belonging to selfish, Turkish, Irish, Polish, childish
-istic characterized by an attribute fantastic, pessimistic, optimistic, sarcastic
-ile having the nature of fragile, juvenile, servile
-ian/an belonging to Indian, American, Russian, Victorian
-ive having the nature of creative, punitive, divisive, decisive 
-less without fearless, helpless, endless, tireless
-ous characterized by an attribute studious, pious, religious, joyous 
-y characterized by smelly, healthy, greedy, wealthy


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