Suffixes: Definition with Examples

Suffixes are the letter/s which are added at the end of a stem to make new words. The affixes used in the suffixed words are different from the affixes used in the prefixed words, and they make different kinds of words.

Most of the affixes that are used in the suffixed words have no meaning of their own.

“A suffix (also called ending) is an affix that is placed after the stem of a word.”
– Wikipedia


Reader = ‘read’ is the stem of the word which has different meaning and different grammatical function in a sentence but the affix ‘er’ changes both the meaning and the grammatical function of the word to make a new word.

  • Reading
  • Readable
  • Creator
  • Creation

Note: It is not necessary that a suffix change both meaning and grammatical property of the words. It can perform either of them.

List of Common Suffixes

A suffix can make a word/stem of a word a noun, verb, adverb, or adjective. A suffix can also make a transition in the degree of an adjective or in the tense of a verb.

Noun Suffixes
-agea conditionleakage, bondage, marriage
-alan action   denial, removal, approval 
-arone who performs the actionbeggar, liar, scholar
urgency, emergency, fallacy
accuracy, decency, lunacy
state of being 
kingdom, dukedom, earldom
boredom, freedom, stardom
-eeone who performs an actioninterviewee, internee, employee, nominee
-erone who performs the actionreader, driver, maker, painter
-hoodstate of beingboyhood, childhood, manhood
-ionconditionunion, opinion
-ismdoctrine or beliefmarxism, Sufism, egotism
-istone who is somethingdentist, chemist, Marxist, atheist
-icethe result of an actionservice, cowardice
-logytheorybiology, geology, ecology
-mentthe condition of an actionacknowledgement, punishment, agreement  
-on/en/andoerartisan, citizen, surgeon
-nessstate of beingsadness, happiness, rudeness, business 
-nce state
abundance, absence, presence
brilliance, endurance, obidience  
-orone who performs the actioncreator, supervisor, sailor
-shipposition heldinternship, partnership, kinship
-sionstate of beingillusion, inclusion, extension
-tionstate of being creation, information, confirmation 
-tuderesult of an actionfortitude, magnitude, servitude
flexibility, sensibility, frailtyserenity, safety, reality
Verb Suffixes
-atedocaptivate, annihilate, exterminate 
-endobroaden, awaken, strengthen
-erdochatter, glitter, glimmer
-ishdopublish, nourish, punish, banish
-fymakerectify, simplify, amplify
-izebecomehumanize, organize, socialize, legalize
Adjective Suffixes
-ablecapable of beingpresentable, readable, believable 
-albelonging tolegal, local, mental, mortal, fatal, musical
-arqualityfamiliar, regular, circular
-edqualitygifted, talented, learned, cultured
-enmade ofgolden, wooden, woolen, leaden
-fulnotable forbeautiful, wonderful, doubtful
-iblecapable ofadmissible, divisible, sensible
-icpertaining toallergic, mythic, domestic, historic
-ishbelonging toselfish, Turkish, Irish, Polish, childish
-isticcharacterized by an attributefantastic, pessimistic, optimistic, sarcastic
-ilehaving the nature offragile, juvenile, servile
-ian/anbelonging toIndian, American, Russian, Victorian
-ivehaving the nature ofcreative, punitive, divisive, decisive 
-lesswithoutfearless, helpless, endless, tireless
-ouscharacterized by an attributestudious, pious, religious, joyous 
-ycharacterized bysmelly, healthy, greedy, wealthy
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