List of Suffixes: 30 Must-Know Suffix Examples

A suffix is a letter or group of letters added to the end of a word to change its meaning or function. These useful, shapeshifting tools can be as small as -s and -ed or can be larger additions such as -ation and -ious. Learn more about suffixes by checking out a clear definition and exploring a suffixes list.

suffix meaning example chart suffix meaning example chart
Advertisement

The Function of a Suffix

A suffix is a type of affix. Suffixes change the meaning or grammatical function of a base word or root word. For example, by adding the suffixes -er and -est to the adjective fond, you create the comparative fonder and the superlative fondest. Explore a suffixes list to broaden your vocabulary.

Examples of Suffixes

Like prefixes, there are many suffixes used in the English language to create a rich vocabulary. Take the suffix -ist for example, by adding this to a word, you have changed the word to describe a person who performs or practices something. So, art becomes artist, a person skilled in a particular art.

Let's look at the verb read. This verb can be turned into a noun by adding the suffix -er so read becomes reader. Likewise, by adding the suffix -able, the verb read now becomes the adjective readable. Check out a list of noun, adjective, verb, and adverb suffix examples.

Noun Suffixes

Nouns are used to identify a person, place, thing, or idea. Dive into a list of noun suffixes along with their meaning and examples.

Suffix

Meaning

Example

-eeindividual does something

referee, employee, trustee, retiree

-eer

engaged in something, associated with something

auctioneer, volunteer, engineer, profiteer

-er

someone who performs an action

helper, teacher, preacher, dancer

-ion

the action or process of

celebration, opinion, decision, revision

-ism

theory, act or beliefcriticism, humanism, professionalism, patirotism

-ity

the state or condition of

probability, equality, abnormality, civility

-ment

the action or result of

movement, retirement, abandonment, establishment

-ness

a state or quality

fondness, awareness, kindness, darkness

-or

a person who is something

distributor, investigator, translator, conductor

-sion

state or being

depression, confusion, tension, compulsion

-ship

position held

worship, ownership, courtship, internship

-th

state or quality

strength, labyrinth, depth, warmth

Adjective Suffixes

Since you can have noun suffixes, it only makes sense that you can have adjective suffixes too. These suffixes work to make words that you can use to describe things.

Suffix

Meaning

Example

-able, -ible

capable of being

preventable, adaptable, predictable, credible

-al

pertaining to

theatrical, natural, criminal, seasonal

-ant

inclined to or tending to

vigilant, defiant, brilliant, reliant

-ary

of or relating to

budgetary, planetary, military, honorary

-ful

full of or notable of

grateful, beautiful, wonderful, fanciful

-ic

relating to

iconic, organic, heroic, poetic

-ious, -ous

having qualities of

gracious, cautious, humorous, fabulous

-ive

quality or nature of

creative, expensive, expressive, pensive

-less

without something

hopeless, faultless, fearless, restless

-y

made up of or characterized by

brainy, fruity, tasty, grouchy

Advertisement

Verb Suffixes

In a sentence, you use a verb to tell the action or state. For example, you laughed at the joke. See a few different verb suffixes that you might use in your sentences.

Suffix

Meaning

Example

-ed

past-tense version of a verb

laughed, climbed, called, missed

-en

become

soften, fasten, lengthen, strengthen

-er

action or process, making an adjective comparative

faster, bigger, fuller, longer

-ing

verb form/present participle of an action

laughing, swimming, driving, writing

-ize, -ise

to cause or to become

memorialize, authorize, commercialize, advertise

Adverb Suffixes

Information in a sentence is key. Therefore adverbs are important because they convey information about adjectives or verbs. Check out these adverb suffix examples at work.

Suffix

Meaning

Example

-ly

in what manner something is being done

bravely, simply, honestly, gladly

-ward

in a certain direction

backward, wayward, awkward, afterward

-wise

in relation to

clockwise, edgewise, lengthwise, otherwise

Using Suffixes

Suffixes create variety in the English language. They provide endless ways to express our thoughts, feelings, findings, and emotions. They morph nouns into adjectives and verbs into nouns. They express deeper qualities, providing layers of color and intrigue required by writers.

Be aware that sometimes adding a suffix to a base word changes the spelling of the new word, as in create/creative. To help you learn why and when this happens read suffix spelling rules.