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A Dictionary of Suffixes
About Prefixes and Suffixes
Affixes (which for English means prefixes and suffixes ) are very common; infixes occur in some languages, such as Arabic. Affixes are particularly common in academic texts so is is worth spending a little time to become familiar with their use and meaning, especially if English is not your first language. As an indication of how common they are, almost every example sentence in this list contains various other examples of affixes apart from the one highlighted. For example:
-er (1)
forms a noun from a verb person who performs the action of the verb teacher, manager, worker, leader, player, user, speaker, reader, .......
" Farmers can maintain or increase biodiversity in agricultural landscapes by planting their crops in smaller fields." (Fahrig 2020)

Farmers is the highlighted example but there are others:
biodiversity, agricultural, planting, smaller.

the effect of the suffix meaning of the suffix examples of words using this suffix comments regarding this suffix
forms an adjective from a noun or a verbshowing the qualities of, able to be reasonable, suitable, comfortable, valuable, acceptable, remarkable, reliable, desirable, comparable, payable, notable, favourable, applicable, profitable, variable, respectable, miserable, fashionable See also "ible" "We found that participants who received a couple minutes of instruction in conversational receptiveness were seen as more trustworthy and more reasonable by their counterparts." (Minson 2023)
forms a noun decade, blockade, lemonade "In the past decade, a “brain race” between Europe, the U.S., Israel, Japan and China has taken off with the goal of understanding human brain function." (Kreyer and Wang 2023)
forms a noun marriage, package, passage, percentage, storage, carriage, coverage, shortage, usage, voltage, heritage, drainage, patronage, pilgrimage, wreckage, postage, mileage, plumage, linkage, haulage, leverage, coinage, leakage, wastage, breakage "As indirect measures of consumption, food balance sheets and household budget surveys incorporate food wastage." (Garnett and Smith 2022)
-aholic, -oholic
forms an adjective or noun addiction to somethingalcoholic, alcoholism, workaholic "In 2020, nearly 70% of people ages 18 and older in the U.S. said they had consumed an alcoholic drink in the previous year, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health." (Mair 2023)
forms an adjective from a noun national, political, central, personal, financial, natural, industrial, original, professional, traditional, physical, medical, essential, environmental, commercial, regional, official, technical, cultural, formal, substantial, educational, critical, historical, typical, agricultural, conventional, global, emotional, classical, constitutional, clinical, residential, musical, structural, occasional, universal, intellectual, imperial, experimental, spiritual, logical, electrical, marginal "Some of the world’s biggest economies – and their central banks – face a tricky task this year taming inflation via higher interest rates without triggering a recession." (Schifferes 2023)
the action of a verb arrival, burial, denial, disposal, removal, survival, "Landfills and incinerators generate greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants. So does transporting heavy waste materials from urban centers to distant disposal sites." (Pollans 2022)
-an (ian)
forms a noun or adjective from a noun mainly nationality but also of an era or persuasion Russian, European, Italian, American, Christian, African, Indian, Victorian, Roman, Asian, metropolitan, urban, Mediterranean, civilian, suburban, republican, spartan, Utopian, cosmopolitan, Darwinian, Elizabethan, Copernican, draconian, Minoan, Newtonian, Trojan "The reason for the proposed ban is mainly to protect Italian farmers. " (Malagoli 2023)
-ana (iana)
forms a collective noun a collection of Victoriana, Churchilliana Rare
forms a noun performance, appearance, significance, assistance, maintenance, resistance, alliance, allowance, guidance, acceptance, assurance, attendance, disturbance, utterance, compliance, inheritance, ignorance, dominance "It’s important to grasp, though, that the fourth industrial revolution is just a concept, an attempt to capture the meaning and significance of what seems to be occurring." (Morgan 2020)
-ant (1)
forms a noun from a verb assistant, defendant, protestant, servant, consultant, participant, assistant, applicant, accountant, inhabitant, variant "More conventionally, the UK published 184,000 books in 2013 – globally, the largest number per inhabitant." (Groot 2018)
-ant (2)
forms an adjective from a verb significant, relevant, dominant, pleasant "When first encountering unfamiliar information, students can be encouraged to go to the relevant Wikipedia page to check reliability. " (O’Neil and Cunneen 2021)
-ar (-ular)
forms an adjective (usually from a noun)angular, cellular, circular, lunar, modular, molecular, muscular, nuclear, polar, singular, solar, spectacular
forms an adjective or noun practitioner, believer in librarian, humanitarian, authoritarian, agrarian, sectarian, utilitarian, vegetarian, egalitarian, proletarian, totalitarian, libertarian, antiquarian, parliamentarian, disciplinarian "It’s time for Australia to be reciprocal and take care of international graduates, who are major contributors to our economy and society, in their time of need. It’s both a humanitarian issue and a sensible economic strategy." (Tan and Tran 2020)
-ary (1)
forms an adjective necessary, military, primary, secondary, parliamentary, voluntary, monetary, revolutionary, evolutionary, disciplinary "International studies have also raised concerns about students’ writing performance, stressing the need to learn more about how writing is taught in primary schools." (Malpique et al. 2022)
-ary (2)
forms a noun summary, dictionary, anniversary, subsidiary, vocabulary, commentary, primary "Note that a summary is different from a reflection that focuses on the student’s response to the learning task or content" (Brown 2015)
-ate (1)
forms a verb concentrate, demonstrate, illustrate, generate, estimate, appreciate, dominate, separate, incorporate, locate, celebrate, negotiate, participate, allocate, communicate, evaluate, eliminate, anticipate, hesitate, integrate, translate, accommodate, initiate, stimulate, situate, educate, isolate, regulate, facilitate, decorate, contemplate, formulate, originate, compensate, circulate, activate, manipulate, dedicate, dictate, penetrate, motivate, differentiate, accumulate, terminate "This was demonstrated by a series of clever experiments in which participants had the option to be idle (waiting in a room for 15 minutes for an experiment to start) or to be busy (walking for 15 minutes to another venue to participate in an experiment)." (Ku 2021)
-ate (2)
forms an adjective appropriate, corporate, adequate, accurate, desperate, ultimate, delicate, legitimate, elaborate, deliberate, intermediate, fortunate, aggregate, intimate "Forgiveness is often hailed as the ultimate goal in relationship conflict." (Carr 2023)
-ate (3)
forms a noun candidate, certificate, estimate, graduate, delegate, associate, electorate "Polygenic scores can give us a personal estimate of our genetic risk for a certain disease, which remains constant throughout life and can be calculated at any point. " (Lewis and Pain 2022)
forms a noun from a verb information, education, situation, application, operation, population, relation, association, organisation, communication, consideration, generation, legislation, administration, investigation, regulation, conversation, explanation, examination, concentration, implication, conservation, publication, location, interpretation, combination, variation, foundation, representation, observation, creation, negotiation, expectation, inflation, corporation, formation, accommodation, preparation, obligation, recommendation, reputation, presentation, qualification, equation, demonstration, compensation, occupation, indication, implementation, evaluation, consultation, determination, imagination, limitation, participation, conservation, taxation, innovation, integration, resignation, registration, declaration, allocation, identification, invitation, calculation, federation, illustration, allegation, celebration, specification, transformation, discrimination, restoration, separation, justification, classification, duration, sensation, speculation, isolation, modification, installation, delegation, liberation, radiation, motivation, correlation, translation, frustration, exploration, reservation, circulation, alteration, destination, valuation, revelation, migration, inspiration, collaboration, decoration, donation, privatisation, appreciation, telecommunication, configuration, exploitation, aspiration, relaxation, temptation, cooperation, confrontation, congregation, documentation, complication, orientation, confirmation, accusation, quotation, adaptation, salvation, preservation, formulation, immigration, vegetation "After 30 years counting thousands of marine species on Australian reefs, we could see the situation was changing rapidly." (Edgar 2023)
forms an adjective conservative, alternative, negative, relative, administrative, creative, legislative, representative, comparative, imaginative, innovative "And there are no such things as “ alternative facts” — facts are facts. " (Pearson 2021)
forms an adverb relatively, alternatively, comparatively "It’s a comparatively recent phenomenon in the supermarket business, reflecting the pressure on manufacturers to keep prices down." (Wang, Mortimer, and Yao 2022)
forms a noun operator, indicator, administrator, commentator, predator, spectator, investigator "Although age is the principal risk factor for several chronic diseases, it is an unreliable indicator of how quickly your body will decline or how susceptible you are to age-related disease." (Gurkar 2023)
forms an adjective the most important part or point of interestanthropocentric, concentric, egocentric, geocentric, heliocentric "We are, that is, anthropocentric (from the Greek, meaning human-centered). Everyone knows that, right?" (Bruskotter, Vucetich, and Nelson 2015)
forms a noun killer, killing suicide, pesticide, homicide, genocide, insecticide, fungicide, herbicide "One prominent example: crop seeds coated with neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticides." (Weeks 2022)
forms a noun form of government democracy, bureaucracy, aristocracy, autocracy, meritocracy "In the old days, autocrats often came to or retained power through military coups and violent crackdowns. Now the shift from democracy to autocracy is slower and less obvious." (Inglis 2019)
forms a noun supporter of type of government democrat, aristocrat, bureaucrat, autocrat "In the old days, autocrats often came to or retained power through military coups and violent crackdowns. Now the shift from democracy to autocracy is slower and less obvious." (Inglis 2019)
forms a noun condition, quality policy, agency, efficiency, tendency, frequency, constituency, pregnancy, redundancy, accuracy, legacy, presidency, conspiracy, bankruptcy, privacy, deficiency "Since the industrial revolution, humans have been driving towards ever greater efficiency. In fact, efficiency – making the best possible use of the resources at hand – has become the core concept of how we run the world." (Nieuwenhuis 2016)
forms a noun condition, state freedom, kingdom, wisdom, boredom, Christendom, stardom, martyrdom, officialdom, earldom "Put another way, humility about the verity, accuracy and wisdom of one’s ideas can reveal the fact that others have understandable reasons for thinking as they do — as long as you try to see the world as they are seeing it." (Traphagan and Kaag 2023)
-ed (-d)
forms the past tense and past participle of a verb looked, used, worked, needed, seemed, asked, showed, tried, called, provided, turned, followed, liked, helped, started, moved, played, paid, heard, included, believed, allowed, lived "Here are five book titles to get you started on building a more diverse collection of books." (Adam 2019)
-ed (-d)
forms an adjective concerned, interested, united, limited, detailed, increased, married, prepared, surprised, pleased, tired, proposed, worried, armed, fixed, advanced, disabled, satisfied, related, complicated, unemployed, entitled, delighted, convinced, sophisticated, expected, improved, marked, experienced, unexpected, disappointed, frightened, established, closed, mixed, required, confused, associated, coloured, skilled "Yet in many regards, digital technology has simply made things more complicated. And there are three main ways in which they have managed to do this." (Sandström, Laurell, and Demir 2019)
forms a noun from a verb person connected with or affected by the verb employee, refugee, trustee, referee, trainee, mortgagee, nominee, lessee, addressee, assignee, absentee, interviewee, licensee, transferee, devotee, divorcee, franchisee, payee, evacuee "Although it was claimed that all graduates were eventually given jobs in schools, in Bauchi and Niger states only 45% and 17% of trainees, respectively, managed to complete their training." (Dunne, Durrani, and Humphreys 2021)
forms a noun from a noun person who works with engineer, volunteer, auctioneer, mountaineer, pamphleteer, puppeteer "Training in making art, design and craft work can help scientists and engineers better in their work. " (Shneiderman 2019)
-en (1)
forms a verb from an adjective cause to be tighten, widen, weaken, straighten, soften, broaden, lessen, loosen, shorten, harden, sharpen, lighten, deepen, worsen, brighten, flatten, fasten, stiffen, ripen, quicken, thicken, darken, fatten, sweeten, slacken, toughen, freshen, blacken, smarten, liken, moisten, deaden, cheapen, redden, deafen, gladden, sadden, steepen, tauten, whiten "In addition to a reduced capacity to absorb and store atmospheric carbon, reduced wood density can weaken the structural strength of the stems." (Silvestro and Rossi 2023)
-en (2)
forms the past participle of some verbs taken, given, written, fallen, spoken, broken, chosen, driven, risen, proven, eaten, forgotten, arisen, shaken, beaten, stricken, hidden, undertaken, ridden, stolen, woken, sunken, bitten, forgiven, frozen, bidden, stridden, mistaken, woven, swollen, striven, awoken, befallen, begotten, betaken, cloven, forbidden, forsaken, graven, laden, molten, misgiven, outridden, overridden, overtaken, partaken, rewritten, riven, shaven, shrunken, shriven, smittten, thriven, trodden "But hidden within these policy debates is a pervasive and under reported issue: quite simply, people have forgotten what a natural river even looks like." (Sear 2023)
-en (3)
forms an adjective from a noun made of golden, wooden "One such example came from Baghdad, Iraq, during the Islamic Golden Age in the fourth Islamic century (tenth century AD)." (Nurmikko-Fuller 2023)
forms a noun from a verb difference, conference, reference, confidence, existence, preference, residence, correspondence, interference, occurrence, dependence "But developments in physics suggest the non-existence of time is an open possibility, and one that we should take seriously." (Baron 2022)
-ent (1)
forms a noun from a verb student, president, resident, correspondent, constituent, respondent, precedent "Rotterdam subsidises owners who deliver rooftop greening that intercepts significant amounts of stormwater. In 2021, Rotterdam had 46 hectares of green roofs, equating to around 0.5 square metres per resident." (Croeser 2023)
-ent (2)
forms an adjective from a verb excellent, sufficient, apparent, recurrent, prevalent "This sounds convincing on the surface and makes for excellent comedy. " (Gaze 2023)
-er (1)
forms a noun from a verb person who performs the action of the verb teacher, manager, worker, leader, player, user, speaker, reader, owner, driver, writer, employer, farmer, consumer, winner, manufacturer, supporter, buyer, holder, producer, researcher, dealer, adviser, supplier, observer, publisher, lover, designer, printer, traveller, commander, purchaser, maker, seller, commissioner, voter, server, miner, singer, painter, receiver, developer, reporter, carrier, builder, offender, defender, killer, trainer, trader, photographer, rider, striker, fighter, carer, organiser, keeper, drawer, founder, ruler, runner, composer, banker, lecturer, dancer, viewer, gardener, sufferer, learner, promoter, marker, follower, controller, recorder, planner, cleaner, provider, murderer, listener, bomber, performer, bowler " Farmers can maintain or increase biodiversity in agricultural landscapes by planting their crops in smaller fields." (Fahrig 2020)
-er (2)
forms the comparison of an adjective higher, greater, lower, older, later, larger, smaller, younger, wider, longer, bigger, stronger, cheaper, closer, shorter, harder, broader, deeper, faster, simpler, safer, poorer, clearer, weaker adjective of more than two syllables form their comparatives with 'more': 'more important', 'more general' "It’s long been popular advice for people looking to lose weight to avoid late night snacking. It’s no wonder, with a host of research showing that late night eating is linked to greater body weight and increased risk of obesity." (Johnstone 2022)
-er (3)
forms a noun from a noun practiser of lawyer, philosopher, butcher, astronomer "It is incredible to see such public interest in ancient philosophy. As a philosopher myself, this is inspiring. There are many academic philosophers trying to break through to a public audience. " (Durrant 2023)
-ery (1)
forms a noun the art, practice of robbery, cookery, mastery, bribery, forgery, adultery, confectionery, archery, joinery, butchery, treachery, sorcery, tomfoolery, buffoonery "At the time, Australia’s cookery texts were generally imported from Britain, but Mason asserted this Housewife’s Guide was “the only work of the kind published in the colony”." (Vincent and Newling 2022)
-ery (2)
forms a noun place gallery, surgery, nursery, brewery, bakery, refinery "A good place to find the answer is a rather unusual English nursery called Oaktrees. It employs five men who work with the three- to four-year-olds, and the two- to three-year-olds. " (Warin 2016)
forms an adjective from a proper noun of a place or country (especially person or language) Japanese, Chinese "As well as producing and selling traditional Japanese crafts, they embody and reproduce local community values." (Sasaki 2019)
forms an adjective from a noun in the manner, style of picturesque, Romanesque, grotesque, statuesque "Every day, the media gives us a dosage of these grotesque images and stories — grotesque because they are shocking, disgusting or horrific." (Nahon-Serfaty 2018)
forms a noun from a noun or a verb female princess, actress, mistress, duchess, goddess, hostess, waitress, heiress, governess, marquess, manageress, baroness, mayoress, priestess, lioness, stewardess, tigress, sorceress, murderess "Many religions include goddess-centered traditions that embrace many forms of the divine feminine as central to their belief systems." (Beall 2023)
forms the superlative of an adjective or adverb superlative latest, largest, greatest, highest, biggest, nearest, earliest, lowest, finest, oldest, youngest, smallest, eldest, strongest, simplest, slightest, longest, easiest, closest, fastest, poorest, cheapest, richest, deepest, hardest, newest, dearest, shortest, widest, commonest, happiest, safest, toughest adjective of more than two syllables form their superlatives with 'most': 'most important', 'most general', etc. "A natural reaction is to put forth the strongest argument for your own – clearly superior – perspective in the hope that logic and evidence will win the day. " (Minson 2023)
forms a noun from a noun small, compact cigarette, statuette, kitchenette, maisonette "Features of the Macquarie Correctional Centre include private bathrooms, and beds are in private cubicles in a dorm with a kitchenette." (Tietz 2021)
forms an adjective from a verb ending in ‘fy’ specific, terrific, horrific, pacific "We know that having a specific academic identity, like considering oneself a “math person,” is one of the reasons people choose a corresponding career path. " (Wan 2022)
forms an adjective from a cardinal number multiplied by twofold, threefold, hundredfold "Since 1990, the amount of materials that are shipped around the world has increased more than threefold – and is continuing to grow." (Jones and King 2023)
forms an adjective uniform, cruciform, spongiform, cuneiform, stratiform "In general, classroom instruction in Singapore is highly-scripted and uniform across all levels and subjects. " (Hogan 2014)
-ful (1)
forms an adjective from a noun or a verb showing the quality of, full of, evoking successful, useful, beautiful, powerful, careful, wonderful, helpful, awful, painful, peaceful, dreadful, doubtful, colourful, cheerful, delightful, faithful, meaningful, harmful, hopeful, fearful, thoughtful, lawful, youthful, skilful, graceful, plentiful, forceful, thankful, stressful, disgraceful, wasteful, rightful "A bloom of new jellyfish started appearing in the Gulf of Venice last autumn. They were first detected by a fisherman from Chioggia in north-east Italy when hundreds of the beautiful yellow species filled his nets." (Piraino 2014)
-ful (2)
forms a noun from a noun a quantity of handful, mouthful, spoonful, fistful, teaspoonful, armful, plateful, hatful, bucketful, roomful, skinful, sackful, tankful, houseful, cupful, earful, eyeful, forkful, lungful, pocketful, shovelful "In recent years, cafes, supermarkets and online shops have started to trial drone delivery in a handful of locations around the world." (Roberts 2022)
-fy (-ify)
forms a verb from a noun or adjective cause to be clarify, simplify, purify, solidify, intensify, diversify, falsify, electrify, beautify, liquefy "As a professor of AI, I am also in favour of reducing any risk, and prepared to work on it personally. But any statement worded in such a way is bound to create alarm, so its authors should probably be more specific and clarify their concerns." (Cristianini 2023)
forms a noun type of marriage (number of wives or husbands) monogamy, polygamy, bigamy Adjective is '-gamous': monogamous, etc. "Some have argued that monogamy is not an organic cultural shift but a colonial imposition on African cultural traditions." (Pierce 2022)
forms a noun sides of a figure polygon, hexagon, pentagon, octagon "The colours are changing and right at the top of Saturn’s north pole, it’s possible to see the distinctive hexagon – a six-sided weather pattern that is now bathed in sunlight." (Hill 2017)
forms a noun the written form of diagram, telegram, histogram, electrocardiogram, epigram, electroencephalogram "These impulses can be measured using an an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is the most reliable and informative measure of your heart rate. " (Beale and Nanayakkara 2018)
forms a noun the written or visual form of photograph, telegraph, autograph, epigraph " Photographs are not only taken to indicate something, to show reality, but they also rely on an image’s potential ability to convince, its powers of persuasion to improve the world." (González-Valerio 2023)
forms a noun from a noun status, state of being childhood, neighbourhood, likelihood, adulthood, motherhood, brotherhood, livelihood, parenthood, priesthood, manhood, boyhood, womanhood, falsehood, statehood, widowhood, nationhood, fatherhood, sisterhood, unlikelihood "In the 21st century, does it still make sense to refer to “young adulthood,” “midlife” and “late adulthood,” as psychologists have been doing for so long? If not, what are more accurate concepts?" (Arnett 2022)
forms an adjective from a noun characteristic of financial, industrial, material, essential, commercial, substantial, official, residential, judicial, imperial, presidential, controversial, artificial, influential, partial, provincial, colonial, racial, beneficial, managerial, spatial, territorial, confidential, ministerial, trivial, superficial, bacterial, aerial, facial, entrepreneurial, serial, radial, sequential, differential, remedial, matrimonial, preferential "We have accepted the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in complex processes — from health care to our daily use of social media — often without critical investigation, until it is too late." (Chu et al. 2022)
-ian (-an)
forms a noun or an adjective from a proper noun mainly nationality but also of an era or persuasion Russian, European, Italian, American, Christian, African, Indian, Victorian, Roman, Asian, metropolitan, urban, Mediterranean, civilian, suburban, republican, spartan, Utopian, cosmopolitan, Darwinian, Elizabethan, Copernican, draconian, Minoan, Newtonian, Trojan " Darwinian logic is no different than economy; it is much more profitable to invest available resources in youth and sex than keeping up repairing bodies that will ultimately fail." (Westendorp 2015)
forms an adjective from a noun or a verbshowing the qualities of, able to be apprehensible, audible, collapsible, collectible, combustible, compatible, comprehensible, compressible, constructible, contemptible, convertible, corruptible, credible, deducible, deductible, defensible, digestible, discernible, distractible, divisible, edible, eligible, exhaustible, expressible, extendible, extensible, fallible, feasible, flexible, forcible, gullible, illegible, immiscible, imperceptible, impermissible, implausible, impossible, inaccessible, inadmissible, inaudible, incompatible, indivisible, incorrigible, incorruptible, incredible, indefensible, indelible, indestructible, indigestible, ineligible, inexhaustible, infallible, inflexible, insensible, intangible, intelligible, invincible, invisible, irreducible, irrepressible, irresistible, irresponsible, irreversible, legible, negligible, perceptible, perfectible, permissible, plausible, reprehensible, repressible, reproducible, reversible, sensible, submersible, suggestible, suppressible, susceptible, tangible, transmissible, unconvertible, unfeasible, unintelligible, uninterruptible, visible see also "able" "The time is ripe for all schools to demonstrate that children and parents are provided with privacy policies that are comprehensible and not written by lawyers for lawyers. " (Savirimuthu 2016)
forms an adjective from a noun democratic, scientific, academic, dramatic, electronic, strategic, linguistic, ethnic, historic, automatic, organic, romantic, diplomatic, realistic, genetic, systematic, artistic, magnetic, enthusiastic, symbolic, Olympic, Islamic, optimistic, Gothic, aesthetic, fantastic, atomic, psychiatric, bureaucratic, photographic, synthetic, characteristic, problematic, diagnostic, demographic, poetic, energetic, volcanic, pathetic, graphic, heroic, geometric, periodic, patriotic, athletic, stylistic, aristocratic, rhythmic, alcoholic, chaotic, traumatic, climatic, cubic, metallic forms an adverb with '-ally': democratically, scientifically, academically, dramatically ... "And it’s unclear how much the natural world can tolerate such dramatic disturbance." (Evans 2020)
forms an adjective from a noun ending in -ics or -y acoustical, aeronautical, alchemical, allegorical, analogical, anatomical, anthological, anthropological, archaeological, astrological, astronomical, astrophysical, asymmetrical, autobiographical, bacteriological, bibliographical, biochemical, biological, biotechnical, botanical, categorical, chronological, classical, cosmological, criminological, cytological, dermatological, dynamical, ecclesiastical, ecological, economical, embryological, entomological, epidemiological, epistemological, ethical, etymological, genealogical, geographical, geological, geophysical, geometric, graphical, heretical, hierarchical, historical, horological, hysterical, iconographical, immunological, logical, logistical, lyrical, mathematical, mechanical, metaphysical, meteorological, microbiological, morphological, musicological, mythological, neurological, ontological, optical, orthographical, pathological, pedagogical, pharmacological, philosophical, phonological, physiological, poetical, political, psychological, seismological, sociological, statistical, tactical, tautological, technological, terminological, theatrical, theoretical, tropical, typological forms an adverb with '-ly': acoustically, allegorically, anatomically, anthropologically ... "Reviving botanical education is possible by presenting students and the public with evidence of how plants can combat the challenges of the 21st century. " (Stroud 2022)
forms a noun from a noun someone concerned with the NOUN politician, musician, physician, technician, magician, electrician, mathematician, paediatrician, optician, statistician, obstetrician, tactician, beautician, dietician "And even if you’re fortunate enough to belong to a family that includes musicians , you would still need to study, practice and get expert guidance to play well." (Nichols 2022)
forms a noun science, field of activity or study politics, statistics, economics, mathematics, physics, electronics, mechanics, ethics, linguistics, classics, semantics, genetics, aesthetics, cosmetics, pragmatics, logistics, aerobics, optics, stylistics, acoustics, thermodynamics, metaphysics, tectonics, gymnastics, avionics "They claimed that the brain’s neuronal system forms an intricate network and that the consciousness this produces should obey the rules of quantum mechanics – the theory that determines how tiny particles like electrons move around. " (Smith 2021)
forms a noun a chemical compound dioxide, oxide, chloride, monoxide, peroxide, sulphide, polypeptide, nucleotide, hydroxide, cyanide "In this special issue, we focus on sodium chloride (NaCl), the same molecule found in table salt, as a key agent of freshwater salinization. " (Derry, Cañedo-Argüelles, and Melles 2023)
-ie (-y)
forms a noun forms a familiar, jokey or childish form of some nouns auntie, Aussie, birdie, sweetie, laddie, budgie, nightie, freebie, goalie, girlie, doggie, chappie, footie, hankie, baddie, goodie, thingie
forms the comparative of many adjectives earlier, easier, happier, heavier, healthier, drier, busier, prettier, luckier, funnier, livelier, nastier, angrier, speedier, friendlier, trickier, dirtier, riskier, gloomier, lovelier, hungrier, mightier, uglier adjective of more than two syllables form their comparatives with 'more': 'more important', 'more general' "A new study has found that eating healthier could extend lifespan by six to seven years in middle-aged age adults, and in young adults, could increase lifespan by about ten years." (Brown 2022)
forms the superlative of many adjectives earliest, easiest, happiest, heaviest, busiest, funniest, prettiest, tiniest adjective of more than two syllables form their superlatives with 'most': 'most important', 'most general' "China has eight of the top ten busiest in world, and they are running at well below normal capacity because of COVID restrictions." (Karamperidis 2021)
forms the present participle or gerund of a verb looking, making, using, taking, getting, trying, saying
-ise (-ize)
forms a verb cause to be, change into realise, minimise, maximise, materialise, stabilise, visualise, generalise, modernise, finalise, rationalise, symbolise "The ways that commercial entities shape our food environments to maximise their profits are known as the “commercial determinants of health”. They create an environment that drives us towards unhealthy choices." (Erzse 2023)
-ish (1)
forms an adjective in the style, manner of foolish, childish, sluggish, feverish, boyish, bullish, girlish, sheepish, hellish, devilish, amateurish, nightmarish, snobbish, fiendish, slavish, ghoulish, roguish, impish, wolfish "The media often portrays people involved in selfie incidents as foolish or selfish." (Peden, Brander, and Cornell 2023)
-ish (2)
forms an adjective from the name of nation describes nationality English, Spanish, Polish, Turkish, Swedish, Danish "Even now, 200 years on from the Spanish Inquisition, the locations affected appear to be poorer, more religious, less educated, and less trusting." (Voth, Vidal-Robert, and Drelichman 2021)
-ish (3)
forms an adjective from an adjective approximately, near reddish, greenish, yellowish, longish, smallish, brownish, whitish, greyish, pinkish, youngish, blackish, biggish, largish, newish "Rock surfaces, which have been polished by seasonal river water running through the gorge, uncover a pattern of alternating white, reddish and blueish-grey layers." (Davies and Lantink 2022)
-ism (1)
forms a noun movement, belief, political system capitalism, socialism, racism, nationalism, communism, Marxism, feminism, terrorism, fascism, liberalism, conservatism, imperialism, pluralism, individualism, symbolism, idealism, modernism, sexism, patriotism, materialism, radicalism, pragmatism, Buddhism, positivism, structuralism, altruism, colonialism, romanticism, consumerism, cubism, mysticism, humanism, evangelism, protestantism, federalism, Hinduism, feudalism, corporatism, postmodernism, Catholicism, fundamentalism, utilitarianism "Many of the minimalists strongly disliked shopping, consumer culture and materialism." (Martin-Woodhead 2021)
-ism (2)
forms a noun showing the qualities of realism, optimism, scepticism, professionalism, vandalism, cynicism, antagonism, alcoholism, hooliganism, altruism, pessimism Others do not fall into either category: criticism, mechanism, tourism, organism, journalism, metabolism, baptism, absenteeism, magnetism "Effective altruism is strongly related to the ethical theory of utilitarianism, particularly the work of the Australian philosopher Peter Singer." (Evans 2023)
-ist (1)
forms a noun person occupied in a particular activity artist, scientist, tourist, specialist, economist, chemist, therapist, novelist, guitarist, dentist, psychologist, receptionist, psychiatrist, pianist, motorist, physicist, physiotherapist, pathologist, anthropologist, cyclist, sociologist, organist, biologist, archaeologist, theorist, soloist, medallist, columnist, geologist, linguist, pharmacist, florist, violinist, bassist, botanist, finalist, gynaecologist "The periodic table stares down from the walls of just about every chemistry lab. The credit for its creation generally goes to Dimitri Mendeleev, a Russian chemist who in 1869 wrote out the known elements (of which there were 63 at the time) on cards and then arranged them in columns and rows according to their chemical and physical properties." (Lorch 2019)
-ist (2)
forms a noun follower of a movement, belief or political system terrorist, nationalist, socialist, realist, pacifist, capitalist, anarchist, feminist, leftist, pragmatist, perfectionist
-ist (3)
forms a noun from an '-ize' verb agent of an 'ize' verb antagonist, monopolist
-ite (1)
forms a noun from a proper noun follower of a particular organisation, cult or sect Jacobite, Maronite, Hashemite, Shiite, Trotskyite, Luddite
-ite (2)
forms a noun mineral graphite, calcite, lignite, dolomite, bauxite, anthracite, malachite, quartzite "When polarised sunlight enters a calcite crystal, something very interesting happens." (Harding 2016)
forms a noun inflammation of colitis, hepatitis, arthritis, gastritis, pancreatitis, oesophagitis, meningitis, cholangitis, bronchitis, cystitis, appendicitis, duodenitis, dermatitis, gastroenteritis "Doctors have long wondered why the duration of cough varies so much following an upper respiratory viral or bacterial infection. The answer likely lies in differences in people, such as the presence of a condition like asthma or chronic bronchitis." (Enfield 2023)
forms a noun the state of being Xsecurity, activity, opportunity, majority, responsibility, ability, possibility, reality, liability, electricity, minority, priority, personality, publicity, mortality, stability, flexibility, availability, complexity, intensity, density, sensitivity, probability, equality, disability, mobility, diversity, maturity, sexuality, validity, popularity, hostility, morality, accountability, fertility, humanity "Many people have started to hear about virtual reality, which is generally an immersive fully virtual world that doesn’t include aspects of the user’s real environment. " (Speicher 2018)
forms an adjective from a verb effective, active, attractive, massive, extensive, competitive, negative, administrative, alternative, comprehensive, impressive, creative, exclusive, progressive, selective, protective, defensive, decisive, innovative "It’s not their fault: massive stars such as HIP99770 – which is almost twice the mass of our Sun – are reluctant to give up their secrets. Otherwise-successful search techniques can rarely reach the levels of precision required to detect planets around such massive stars." (Murphy 2023)
-ize (ise)
forms a verb cause to be, change into realize, publicize, privatise
forms an adjective from a noun without, lacking endless, useless, homeless, helpless, hopeless, meaningless, harmless, countless, restless, careless, needless, pointless, breathless, powerless, motionless, worthless, stainless, timeless, jobless, lifeless, childless, fruitless, priceless, speechless, sleepless, senseless, limitless, cordless, colourless, effortless, defenceless, classless, fearless, expressionless, nameless, tireless, penniless, faceless, landless, heartless, seamless, painless, topless, merciless, featureless, shapeless, spotless, ceaseless, tasteless, flawless 1.The addition of 'ly' forms an adverb for some of these adjectives: hopelessly, helplessly, endlessly, relentlessly, effortlessly, carelessly, breathlessly, restlessly, mercilessly, aimlessly, needlessly, shamelessly, remorselessly, wordlessly, painlessly, uselessly, soundlessly, harmlessly, ceaselessly, etc. 2. The addition of 'ness' forms a noun for some of these adjectives: homelessness, helplessness, carelessness, hopelessness, restlessness, powerlessness, lawlessness, breathlessness, etc. "The urge to overturn stifling, unjust or simply downright pointless rules is entirely justified. " (Chater 2020)
forms a noun from a noun small, unimportant, diminutive leaflet, booklet, piglet, starlet, eyelet
forms an adjective from a noun similar to; in the manner, style of businesslike, childlike, warlike, lifelike, workmanlike, ladylike, dreamlike, godlike, statesmanlike "Machines were seen by some scientists from the Enlightenment period as lifelike: self-organizing, unpredictable and restless mechanisms driven by a vital inner agency." (Craciun 2023)
forms a noun smaller, younger version of; diminutive duckling, seedling Other words with a diminutive or disparaging meaning are: sibling, sprinkling, sapling, gosling, weakling, yearling, fledgling, princeling, hireling, starveling (all rarely used) "If seeds are scattered (seed broadcasting) on the soil surface by hand, tractor or drone, they can be blown off by the wind or eaten by animals. Even if they germinate, the seedling can dry up and die. As a result, most seeds will not become a plant." (Speicher 2018)
forms a noun something spoken dialogue, prologue, monologue, travelogue, epilogue Also catalogue a list (presumably originally spoken) "Technology can make us feel lonely if we use it as a publishing tool for monologues, rather than to interact with others through dialogue." (Cowling and Vanderburg 2018)
forms a noun a branch of study technology, psychology, sociology, theology, biology, geology, archaeology, anthropology, ecology, mythology, biotechnology, physiology, pathology, chronology, morphology, criminology, zoology "And there are now restaurants with wine lists organised not by grape, wine style or country of origin, but by vineyard geology." (Maltman 2018)
-ly (1)
forms an adverb from an adjective probably, actually, particularly, usually, certainly, simply, clearly, finally, quickly, generally, suddenly, obviously, exactly, immediately, highly, directly, slightly, completely, normally, relatively, apparently, merely, slowly, possibly, currently, mainly, carefully, previously, entirely, extremely, fairly, increasingly, equally, surely, frequently, totally, absolutely, necessarily, seriously, widely, properly, closely, effectively, unfortunately
-ly (2)
forms an adjective from a noun having the qualities, characteristics of friendly, scholarly, heavenly, leisurely, earthly, oily, homely, ghostly, worldly, woolly, sickly, disorderly, steely, princely, cowardly, beastly, manly, priestly, masterly, godly, gentlemanly, saintly, pearly, brotherly, deathly, motherly, lordly, knightly, fartherly, miserly, womanly, kingly, painterly, sisterly, neighbourly "Evidence suggests the more oily fish, such as salmon or herring, you eat the better you sleep." (Mellor and Brown 2021)
-ly (3)
forms an adjective from a noun occurring regularly weekly, monthly, yearly, hourly, quarterly, nightly "It turns out that sitting down for a nightly meal is great for the brain, the body and the spirit. " (Fishel 2015)
-man (1)
forms a noun inhabitant of Englishman, German, Frenchman
-man (2)
forms a noun someone who performs a particular activity chairman, spokesman, policeman, businessman, salesman, batsman, fisherman, statesman, barman, gunman, postman, clergyman, craftsman, fireman, sportsman, cameraman, seaman, milkman, workman, horseman, draftsman, watchman, tradesman, linesman, airman, countryman, boatman "For instance, if all fishermen abide by fishing quotas, it is good for everyone. If one fisherman exceeds the quota while everyone else abides by it, then that individual is better off at the expense of others." (Chaudhuri, Atkinson, and Claessens 2023)
forms a noun abnormal enthusiasm or behaviour megalomania, kleptomania
forms a noun from a verb action of the VERB development, management, movement, agreement, treatment, investment, employment, statement, equipment, argument, assessment, commitment, payment, settlement, appointment, improvement, involvement, establishment, retirement, requirement, judgment, arrangement, replacement, excitement, announcement, punishment, entertainment, amendment, measurement, recruitment, disappointment, encouragement, imprisonment, adjustment, enforcement, embarrassment, engagement, advertisement, assignment, enjoyment, resentment, amusement, attainment, placement 1. The addition of 'al' forms an adjective from some of these nouns: experimental, developmental, governmental, judgmental, etc. 2. The addition of 'ally' forms an adverb: experimentally, developmentally, incrementally, etc. "The integration of technologies into farm equipment, from GPS-guided tractors to artificial intelligence, potentially increases the ability of hackers to attack this equipment. " (Doctor and Grispos 2022)
forms a noun instrument for measuring barometer, thermometer, spectrometer, voltmeter, speedometer, altimeter "Modern airplanes use altimeters, which calculate the time it takes for a signal to bounce back from the ground to determine a plane’s altitude. " (Mitra 2022)
forms a noun a part or multiple of a metre kilometre, centimetre, millimetre
forms a noun someone who deals in, or promotes fishmonger, ironmonger, cheesemonger, warmonger, scandalmonger
forms a superlative adjective from a preposition or adjective of position uppermost, innermost, topmost, southernmost, outermost, northernmost, easternmost, westernmost, distalmost, dorsalmost, rearmost Also: foremost, utmost, uttermost "The continents form part of the lithosphere, the rigid rocky outer shell of Earth made up of ocean floors and the continents, of which the uppermost layer is the crust." (Johnson 2022)
forms a noun from an adjective the quality or character of awareness, illness, darkness, consciousness, effectiveness, weakness, happiness, fitness, goodness, sickness, willingness, madness, thickness, fairness, kindness, bitterness, readiness, loneliness, competitiveness, seriousness, usefulness, openness, richness, brightness, reasonableness, tenderness, blackness, closeness "The trouble with this common viewpoint, as I argue in my book Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness, is that our standard scientific approach was designed to exclude consciousness." (Goff 2020)
forms a noun system of government democracy, autocracy, theocracy, technocracy "If Americans want AI to help revitalize the country’s ailing democracy, they need to think about how to align the incentives of elected leaders with those of individuals. " (Schneier and Sanders 2023)
forms a noun supporter of an 'ocracy' democrat
forms an adjective or noun in the shape, form of asteroid, tabloid, humanoid, cuboid, spheroid, conchoid, toroid, ellipsoid, ovoid, fungoid "The ocean floor is famously less explored than the surface of Mars. And when our team of scientists recently mapped the seabed, and ancient sediments beneath, we discovered what looks like an asteroid impact crater." (Gulick, Nicholson, and Bray 2022)
forms a noun the study of anthropology, archaeology, astrology, bacteriology, biology, chronology, climatology, cosmology, criminology, cryptology, dendrochronology, dermatology, ecology, embryology, entomology, ethnology, ethology, etymology, geology, gynaecology, histology, iconology, immunology, lexicology, meteorology, methodology, microbiology, morphology, musicology, mycology, mythology, neurobiology, neurology, oncology, ontology, ornithology, palaeontology, parasitology, pathology, pharmacology, phraseology, physiology, psychobiology, psychology, radiology, seismology, sociology, technology, toxicology, virology, zoology "Last year the World Health Organisation finally declared the availability of on-site bacteriology infrastructure to be a necessity for secondary-level hospitals." (Yansouni and Cheng 2019)
forms a noun from a verb someone or something that carries out the action of the verb director, editor, governor, visitor, inspector, actor, operator, processor, vendor, collector, investor, indicator, creditor, supervisor, reactor, surveyor, contractor, administrator, competitor, instructor, auditor, distributor, detector, creator, spectator, radiator, sailor, generator, prosecutor Also: author, solicitor, chancellor, mayor, professor, emperor, successor, ambassador, tutor, debtor, counsellor, donor, predator, warrior, receptor, tractor, curator, rotor, sponsor "This season’s visitor numbers are up more than 40% over the largest pre-pandemic year." (Hardy et al. 2023)
-ory (1)
forms an adjective statutory, satisfactory, compulsory, advisory, regulatory, mandatory, contradictory, inflammatory, sensory, explanatory, introductory, respiratory, supervisory, preparatory, contributory, obligatory, predatory, exploratory, discriminatory, inhibitory, auditory, illusory "Human-robot interaction has the potential to affect every aspect of daily life. It is the collective responsibility of both the designers and the users to create a human-robot ecosystem that is safe and satisfactory for all." (Vinjamuri 2023)
-ory (2)
forms a noun place where a particular activity is carried out factory, laboratory, lavatory, conservatory, repository, observatory, dormitory, refectory, depository "Medical laboratory testing is the heartbeat of medicine. " (Moore and Rohde 2023)
forms a noun diagnosis, tuberculosis, fibrosis, prognosis, hypnosis, psychosis, sclerosis, cirrhosis, neurosis, thrombosis, necrosis, metamorphosis, stenosis, osteoporosis, symbiosis "Complicating the diagnosis is that ADHD often co-occurs with, and is sometimes mistaken for, other health conditions like anxiety or substance abuse." (Rosenthal 2022)
forms an adjective having the qualities of the NOUNfamous, dangerous, marvellous, mysterious, furious, disastrous, autonomous, vigorous, hazardous, rigorous, spacious, glamorous, luxurious, adventurous The addition of 'ly' forms the adverb of some of these adjectives: dangerously, mysteriously, etc. 2. The addition of 'ness' forms a noun for a few of these adjectives: righteousness, spaciousness, etc. "We looked at what these “ dangerously high” and “extremely dangerous” levels on the heat index would mean for daily life in both the tropics and in the mid-latitudes." (Battisti 2022)
forms a noun someone who performs a particular activitychairperson, spokesperson, businessperson, salesperson "For example, if you know that they find arguments from authority unconvincing, then selecting a government scientist as a spokesperson for a counterargument may be ineffective. " (Ruiz 2022)
forms a noun lover of bibliophile, francophile
forms a noun (excessive) fear of xenophobia, homophobia, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, photophobia
forms a noun instrument for producing or recording sound telephone, microphone, gramophone, saxophone, answerphone, headphone, megaphone, xylophone, cellphone, dictaphone, earphone "Go to your phone’s settings and restrict access to your microphone for all your apps. " (Rezazadegan 2021)
forms an adjective protected, shielded frombullet-proof, childproof, damp-proof, fireproof, flameproof, foolproof, greaseproof, heatproof, leakproof, mothproof, ovenproof, rainproof, rustproof, soundproof, waterproof, weatherproof, windproof "Think of a jacket. Our skin is like our own three-layered waterproof, padded jacket." (Larkin 2020)
-s (1)
forms the plural of a noun days, times, eyes, others, problems, services, months, words, areas, etc.
-s (2)
forms the third person singular of the present tense of a verb seems, makes, comes, goes, means, takes, gives, etc.
forms a noun from a noun stretch of scenery landscape, townscape, seascape
forms a noun instrument for observing or showing microscope, telescope, kaleidoscope, stethoscope, endoscope "Viruses are often termed “the invisible enemy”. They aren’t visible with the naked eye, or even by using a standard optical microscope." (Roberts 2020)
forms a noun from a noun status, condition, skill relationship, membership, championship, leadership, partnership, ownership, friendship, sponsorship, scholarship "Holidays are often a time of strengthening family bonds and relationships. But for those who have difficult relationships with siblings, parents and extended family, it can be a stressful and upsetting time. " (Scharp 2021)
forms an adjective from a noun likely to produce the NOUN troublesome, awesome, fearsome, quarrelsome
forms a noun of a sphere, ball, the earth atmosphere, hemisphere, lithosphere, stratosphere, biosphere, magnetosphere, asthenosphere, troposphere, ionosphere "The atmosphere of the early Earth lacked oxygen. " (Warke 2020)
forms a noun from a noun someone connected with the NOUN gangster, trickster, mobster, fraudster, pollster, tipster, prankster
forms a noun from an adjective someone with the qualities of the ADJECTIVE youngster
-tion (-ation, -sion, -ition)
forms a noun from a verb education, action, situation, production, population, association, application, operation, election, competition, direction, organisation, protection, collection, legislation, introduction, administration, organization, construction, distribution, communication, selection, recognition "Similarly, someone who takes a sport seriously but easily dominates all competition also does not participate meaningfully in competition." (Surprenant 2021)
forms a noun condition attitude, magnitude, gratitude, altitude, multitude, amplitude, solitude, latitude, longitude, fortitude, ineptitude, rectitude, servitude "In the 1700s, sailors were easily able to measure their latitude using stars, but tracking one’s position east to west required accurate timekeeping. " (Merino and El-Hadi 2023)
forms a noun from a noun small version of capsule, granule, nodule, globule, graticule
forms a noun from a verb process of, condition of, product of pleasure, exposure, departure, closure, creature, sculpture, fixture, seizure
forms an adjective or adverb in the direction of forward, inward, upward, downward, outward, backward, seaward, homeward, windward, landward, leftward, westward, northward, eastward, southward
forms an adverb in the direction of backwards, upwards, forwards, downwards, outwards, inwards, northwards, eastwards, southwards, westwards, skywards, seawards "This device moves the dish backwards and forwards and side to side while moving the nozzle up and down mechanically as it extrudes the gel full of cells. " (Thomas, Castell, and Coulman 2023)
-wise (1)
forms an adjective from a noun or an adjective n the style, direction of clockwise, anticlockwise, stepwise, lengthwise, crabwise "He recounts the story of Phoenician sailors who were dispatched by King Neco II of Egypt (about 600BC), to sail around continental Africa, in a clockwise fashion, starting in the Red Sea." (Dorrian and Whittaker 2020)
-wise (2)
forms an adjective from a noun or an adjective in connection with weatherwise, drinkwise, businesswise
-woman (1)
forms a noun inhabitant of Englishwoman, Frenchwoman
-woman (2)
forms a noun someone who performs a particular activity spokeswoman, policewoman, chairwoman, businesswoman, horsewoman, saleswoman, washerwoman, countrywoman, sportswoman, postwoman, airwoman, craftswoman, firewoman, yachtswoman "For example, Greens environment spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young on Wednesday described Plibersek’s decision as “the thin edge of the wedge”." (Bell-James 2023)
forms an adjective from a noun an amount, value of pennyworth
forms an adjective from a noun deserving the NOUN noteworthy, trustworthy, newsworthy, airworthy, praiseworthy, seaworthy, blameworthy, roadworthy, creditworthy "This classifier creates decision trees to decide if a signal is noteworthy, or just radio interference – essentially separating the technosignature “needles” from the haystack." (Price 2023)
-y (-ie)
forms a noun from a noun forms a familiar, jokey or childish form of some nouns mummy, daddy, telly, puppy, thingy, doggy, dolly, aunty, matey, softy, missy Other 'familiar' words include: belly, tummy, bunny, buddy, lolly, brolly, welly, cabby, jiffy, loony, crony, pinny, ninny, cissy
-y (ey)
forms an adjective from a noun bloody, lucky, worthy, lengthy, sunny, noisy, mighty, sandy, dusty, gloomy, tricky, sexy, rocky, muddy, speedy, greedy, windy, witty, sleepy, curly, hairy, greasy, shadowy, creamy, tasty, stormy, rusty, messy, bulky, hasty, grassy, stony, skinny, patchy, bony, watery, milky, misty, thirsty, cloudy, shady, oily, smelly, airy, silvery, needy, silky, chunky, trendy, fatty, rainy, hazy, frosty, snowy, sweaty, moody, leafy, spicy, smoky, fussy, glassy, weighty

See also the prefixes page and test your understanding with the affix quiz.