1

suffix

play
noun suf·fix \ˈsə-fiks\

Definition of suffix

  1. :  an affix occurring at the end of a word, base, or phrase — compare prefix

suffixal

play \ˈsə-fik-səl, (ˌ)sə-ˈfik-səl\ adjective

Examples of suffix in a Sentence

  1. The adjective smokeless is formed by adding the suffix -less to the noun smoke.

  2. The adverb sadly is formed by adding the suffix -ly to the adjective sad.

What are prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms?

Prefixes and suffixes are both kinds of affixes. That is, they are word parts that attach to the beginning or end of a word or word base (a word stripped down to its simplest form) to produce a related word or an inflectional form of a word. Examples are in- in informal and both re- and -ing in reporting.

A third kind of affix is called an infix. Infixes are inserted into a word or word base. English uses very few infixes, but a couple examples are the plural-making s in words like cupsful and passersby, and various swear words, like damn in informal constructions like guaran-damn-tee.

A combining form is a form of a word that only appears as part of another word. There are a number of kinds of combining forms, each classified by what kind of word results when the form is used. For example, -wise in clockwise is an adverb combining form; -like in birdlike is an adjective combining form; -graph in photograph is a noun combining form; and -lyze in electrolyze is a verb combining form.

Combining forms are similar to affixes but can have a bit more lexical substance to them. Unlike affixes, combining forms are substantial enough to form a word simply by connecting to an affix, such as when the combining form cephal- joins with the suffix -ic to form cephalic. A combining form can also differ from an affix in its being derived from an independent word. For example, para- is a combining form in the word paratrooper because in that word it represents the word parachute. Para- is a prefix, however, in the words paranormal and paramedic. A combining form can also be distinguished historically from an affix by the fact that it is borrowed from another language in which it is descriptively a word or a combining form, such as the French mal giving English the mal- in malfunction.

Origin and Etymology of suffix

New Latin suffixum, from Latin, neuter of suffixus, past participle of suffigere to fasten underneath, from sub- + figere to fasten — more at fix


First Known Use: 1778

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


2

suffix

play
verb suf·fix \ˈsə-fiks, (ˌ)sə-ˈfiks\

Definition of suffix

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to attach as a suffix

suffixation

play \ˌsə-fik-ˈsā-shən\ noun

1778

First Known Use of suffix

1778

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


SUFFIX Defined for English Language Learners

1

suffix

play
noun suf·fix \ˈsə-fiks\

Definition of suffix for English Language Learners

  • : a letter or a group of letters that is added to the end of a word to change its meaning or to form a different word


SUFFIX Defined for Kids

suffix

play
noun suf·fix \ˈsə-ˌfiks\

Definition of suffix for Students

  1. :  a letter or group of letters that comes at the end of a word and has a meaning of its own



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