AskDefine | Define suffix

Dictionary Definition

suffix n : an affix that is added at the end of the word [syn: postfix] v : attach a suffix to; "suffix words" [ant: prefix]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Suffix



From Latin sub, below, under, and fixus, perfect passive participle of figere, to fasten


  • /ˈsʌfɪks/


  1. one or more letters or sounds added at the end of a word to modify the word's meaning, such as able, which changes sing into singable, for example


letters or sounds added at the end of a word to modify the word's meaning
  • Chinese: 尾綴
  • Croatian: sufiks, dometak
  • Czech: přípona
  • Dutch: achtervoegsel, suffix, aanhangsel
  • Esperanto: sufikso
  • Finnish: pääte, suffiksi
  • French: suffixe
  • German: Suffix
  • Icelandic: viðskeyti
  • Interlingua: suffixo
  • Japanese: (setsubiji)
  • Latin: suffixus
  • Latvian: piedēklis , sufikss
  • Persian: (pasvand)
  • Portuguese: sufixo
  • Romanian: sufix
  • Russian: суффикс
  • Spanish: sufijo
  • Volapük: poyümot


  1. to append (something) to the end of something else


append (something) to the end of something else

Extensive Definition

In grammar, a suffix or ending is an affix which is placed at the end of a word. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs.
Suffixes can carry grammatical information (inflectional suffixes), or lexical information (derivational suffixes). An inflectional suffix is sometimes called a desinence.
Some examples from English:
Girls, where the suffix -s marks the plural;
He makes, where suffix -s marks the third person singular present tense;
He closed, where the suffix -d marks the past tense.
A large number of endings are found in many synthetic languages such as Czech, German, Finnish, Latin, Hungarian, Russian, etc.
Suffixes used in English frequently have Greek, French or Latin origins.

Inflectional suffixes

Inflection changes grammatical properties of a word within its syntactic category. In the example:
The weather forecaster said it would clear today, but it hasn't cleared at all.
the suffix -ed inflects the root-word clear to indicate past tense.
Some inflectional suffixes in present day English:

Derivational suffixes

In the example:
"The weather forecaster said it would be clear today, but I can't see clearly at all"
the suffix -ly modifies the root-word clear from an adjective into an adverb. Derivation can also form a semantically distinct word within the same syntactic category. In this example:
"The weather forecaster said it would be a clear day today, but I think it's more like clearish!"
the suffix -ish modifies the root-word clear, changing its meaning to "clear, but not very clear".
Some derivational suffixes in present day English:
  • -ize/-ise
  • -fy
  • -ly
  • -able
  • -ful
  • -ness
  • -ism
  • -ment
  • -ist
  • -al
suffix in Guarani: Mbiti
suffix in Breton: Lostger
suffix in Bulgarian: Наставка
suffix in Catalan: Sufix
suffix in Czech: Sufix
suffix in Danish: Suffiks
suffix in German: Suffix
suffix in Estonian: Sufiks
suffix in Spanish: Sufijo
suffix in Esperanto: Sufikso
suffix in French: Affixe#Place_des_affixes
suffix in Galician: Sufixo
suffix in Hindi: प्रत्यय
suffix in Indonesian: Sufiks
suffix in Icelandic: Viðskeyti
suffix in Italian: Suffisso
suffix in Latin: Suffixum
suffix in Macedonian: Наставка
suffix in Dutch: Suffix
suffix in Japanese: 接尾辞
suffix in Norwegian: Suffiks
suffix in Norwegian Nynorsk: Affiks#Suffiks
suffix in Low German: Suffix
suffix in Polish: Przyrostek
suffix in Portuguese: Sufixo
suffix in Quechua: K'askaq
suffix in Simple English: Suffix
suffix in Finnish: Pääte (morfologia)
suffix in Swedish: Suffix
suffix in Volapük: Poyümot
suffix in Chinese: 後綴

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

IC analysis, PS, Parthian shot, accidence, add, addendum, addition, adjoin, affix, affixation, afterthought, agglutinate, allomorph, allonge, amend, annex, append, appendix, attach, back matter, bound morpheme, burden, chorus, coda, codicil, colophon, commentary, complicate, conclusion, conjoin, conjugation, consequence, continuance, continuation, cutting, declension, decorate, derivation, desinence, difference of form, double take, dying words, enclitic, encumber, ending, envoi, epilogue, follow-through, follow-up, formative, free form, glue on, hitch on, immediate constituent analysis, infix, infixation, inflection, interlineation, interpolation, join, join with, last words, marginalia, morph, morpheme, morphemic analysis, morphemics, morphology, morphophonemics, note, ornament, paradigm, parting shot, paste on, peroration, plus, postface, postfix, postlude, postscript, prefix, prefixation, proclitic, put with, radical, refrain, rider, root, saddle with, scholia, second thought, sequel, sequela, sequelae, sequelant, sequent, sequitur, slap on, stem, subjoin, subscript, suffixation, superadd, superpose, supplement, swan song, tack on, tag, tag on, tail, theme, unite with, word-formation
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