What Are Some Common Suffixes and Their Meanings?


Quick Answer

Some common noun suffixes are -acy, meaning state or quality; -al, meaning act or process of; -ance or -ence, meaning state or quality of; and -dom, meaning place or state of being. Some common verb suffixes are -ate, meaning become, and -en, also meaning become.

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Full Answer

Some common adjective suffixes are -able or -ible, meaning capable of being; -al, meaning pertaining to; -esque, meaning reminiscent of; -ful, meaning notable for; and -ic or -ical, meaning pertaining to. A few other common noun suffixes are -er or -or, meaning one who; -ism, meaning doctrine or belief; -ist, meaning one who; -ity or -ty, meaning quality of; and -ment, meaning condition of. More common verb suffixes include -ify or -fy, meaning make or become, and -ize or -ise, meaning become.

Suffixes are groups of letters attached to the end of words that change the grammatical function of the word. The verb write becomes a noun when the suffix -er is added to the end of the word, making it writer, or one who writes. The grammatical function of the noun terror changes to a verb when the suffix -ify is added to the end of the word, making it terrify, or the act of scaring. The noun picture becomes the adjective picturesque, meaning like a picture, when the suffix -esque is added.

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