Suffix - Definition, Types & Examples

Suffix: Definition, Types and Examples

This post, Suffix: Definition, Types and Examples, presents an extensive discussion on what a suffix is, the different types with illustrative examples of each type. Bound Morphemes are called affixes. A Suffix is a morpheme or a type of an affix that comes at the end of the base, root or stem word; it comes at the final position of the root word. The word affixes clearly explains the concept of what a suffix is:

Prefix Base/Root/Stem Word Suffix
Af – Fix – es

Let us proceed to consider the different types of suffixes and their examples.

Derivational Suffixes

These are suffixes that derive new words belonging to other Parts of Speech. For instance, when they are added to adjectives, they will derive words that are nouns or adverbs; when added to nouns, they will derive verbs and when they are added to adjectives, they will derive nouns. Examples of noun forming, verb forming, adjective-forming and adverb forming suffixes are given below:

Noun-forming suffixes

The following are noun-forming suffixes:

  • ness’ – meekness, goodness, wildness, calmness, greatness, selfishness, kindness, meaninglessness, carelessness, recklessness, carefulness, etc.
  • ism’ – feminism, structuralism, jingoism, heroism, paganism, terrorism, narcissism, colloquialism, hedonism, Americanism, anachronism, etc.
  • ment’ – management, enjoyment, embankment, contentment, agreement, disbursement, alignment, inducement, attainment, etc.
  • ist’ – herbalist, motorist, soloist, physicist, socialist, terrorist, sexist, pluralist, communist, specialist, pugilist, stylist, sadist, mentalist, etc.
  • ity’ – plurality, mentality, ingenuity, fatality, criminality, causality, ability, sentimentality, productivity, acerbity, technicality, formality, etc.
  • ian’ – historian, magician, totalitarian, vegetarian, agrarian, Nigerian, Johnsonian, musician, beautician, technician, phonetician,
  • er’ – maker, teacher, writer, grinder, cooker, leader, lecturer, singer, blogger, jailer, trader, breaker, jumper, dancer, farmer, wiper, etc.
  • ship’ – friendship, kinship, courtship, relationship, entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, horsemanship, fellowship, lordship, readership, etc.
  • hood’ – priesthood, neighbourhood, childhood, fatherhood, motherhood, brotherhood, falsehood, knighthood, manhood, etc.
  • or’ – juror, actor, conductor, generator, sailor, conqueror, grantor, guarantor, collator, calculator, animator, educator, terminator, etc.
  • tion’ – examination, culmination, sanitation, prohibition, accumulation, election, sanctification, education, marination, etc.
  • ee’ – payee, employee, assignee, grantee, lessee, absentee, appointee, patentee, escapee, mentee, committee, signee, donee, etc.

Verb forming suffixes

The following are verb-forming suffixes:

  • ify/fy’ – clarify, satisfy, amplify, intensify, typify, simplify, beautify, liquefy, rarify, rarefy, falsify, purify, dignify, mystify, demystify, etc.
  • ise/ize’ – italicise, canonise, jeopardise, deputise, idolise, optimise, concretise, plagiarize, sanitise, crystallize, patronize, unionize, etc.
  • ate’ – accommodate, educate, celebrate, accumulate, culminate, marinate, distillate, carbonate, hyphenate, Latinate, laminate, etc.
  • en’ – enlighten, frighten, tighten, lighten, heighten, brighten, widen, blacken, whiten, lengthen, steepen, sharpen, shorten, laden, etc.
  • ke’ – invoke, revoke, convoke, evoke, provoke, etc.

Adjective forming suffixes

The following are adjective-forming suffixes:

  • ful’ – frightful, fretful, beautiful, artful, painful, spiteful, restful, helpful, useful, hateful, hurtful, peaceful, masterful, disdainful, prideful, etc.
  • ic’ – rhythmic, laconic, nostalgic, allergic, analgesic, alcoholic, periodic, allergic, Germanic, psychic, Britannic, atomic, ironic, specific, etc.
  • less’ – boundless, meaningless, careless, tactless, reckless, brainless, hopeless, helpless, shoeless, wireless, stainless, useless, speechless, etc.
  • able’ – habitable, unforgettable, incalculable, insatiable, inimitable, indomitable, equitable, separable, washable, readable, enjoyable, etc.
  • ish’ – churlish, soulish, stylish, foppish, boyish, childish, girlish, prudish, bookish, slavish, yellowish, brownish, whitish, blackish, sottish, etc.

Adverb forming suffixes

The following are adverb-forming suffixes:

  • ly’ – firstly, partly, annually, relatively, secondly, finally, brutally, sadly, happily, softly, gently, with exception of words like lively, lovely, unwieldy, ungainly, etc. which are adjectives)
  • wards’ – upward, afterwards, backwards, shoreward, towards, afterwards, outwards, inwards, seawards, etc.
  • wise’ – clockwise, crabwise, fanwise, likewise, businesswise,


A proper understanding of suffixes in English will make it easier for us to be able to appropriately identify the part of speech of any word we come across. In addition, we will be able to change words from one part of speech (word class) to another easily. Check these other posts for additional knowledge and try to share on your Social Media Platforms. Thank you.

4 Definitions of Morphemes: Types and Examples 

Prefix: Definition, Types with Examples 

Types of Morphemes: Free and Bound 

Bound Morphemes: Types and Examples 

Derivational and Inflectional Morphemes: Differences 


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