Lexicology and phraseology: suffixes and prefixes



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gyneco-
--- [not found in any of the dictionaries]

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gram noun
1 (British English also gramme) (abbr. g, gm) a unit for measuring weight. There are 1000 grams in one kilogram.

2 -gram a thing that is written or drawn



telegram

hologram
-gram suffix [in nouns]

a message delivered as an amusing surprise



On his birthday we sent him a kissagram (=a woman who was paid to give him a message and kiss him).
--- [not in Cambridge]
--- [not in Macmillan]
--- [not in Merriam-Webster’s]
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-graphy combining form (in nouns)
1 a type of art or science: choreography · geography
2 a method of producing images: radiography
3 a form of writing or drawing: calligraphy · biography
-graphy suffix
used in nouns to mean a way of making pictures or of writing

radiography

photography

calligraphy
--- [not in Cambridge]
--- [not in Macmillan]
-graphy

Pronounced:

/grəfi/


Function:

noun combining form



Meaning:

: a way of writing or showing something ▪ photography ▪ cartography ▪ mammography
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hemi(sphere)
--- [not found in any of the dictionaries]
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-hood

suffix


(in nouns)

1 the state or quality of



childhood

falsehood

2 a group of people of the type mentioned



the priesthood
-hood suffix [in nouns]

1 used to refer to a period of time or a state



during his childhood (=when he was a child)

parenthood (=the state of being a parent)

2 the people who belong to a particular group



the priesthood (=all the people who are priests)
-hood suffix
used to form nouns describing the state of being a particular thing:
priesthood
childhood/manhood
nationhood
-hood suffix

used with some nouns to make nouns meaning a particular state, or period in someone's life:


childhood (=the period when you are a child)
fatherhood (=the state of being a father)
-hood

Pronounced:

/-ˌhʊd/



Function:

noun suffix



Meaning:

1 : state : condition : quality ▪ likelihood ▪ falsehood ▪ childhood ▪ adulthood


2 : people sharing a condition or character ▪ brotherhood
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hydr(o)-

combining form

(in nouns, adjectives and adverbs)

1 connected with water



hydroelectricity

2 (chemistry)

combined with hydrogen

hydrochloric acid
hydr(o)- prerfix

1 relating to water, or using water



hydroelectricity (=produced by water power)

hydrotherapy (=treatment of disease using water)

2 relating to hydrogen, or containing it



hydrocarbons
hydro- prefix (WATER )

prefix


connected with or using the power of water

hydroponic (= a method of growing plants in water)

hydro- prefix (GAS )

prefix


showing that hydrogen is present
--- [not in Macmillan]
--- [not in Merriam-Webster’s]
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hyper-

prefix


(in adjectives and nouns)

more than normal; too much



hypercritical

hypertension
hyper- prefix

1 more than usual, especially too much:



hypersensitive (=too sensitive)

hyper-inflation

a hyper-extended knee

2 beyond the usual size or limits:



a hyperlink (=from one website to another)
hyper- prefix

having too much of the stated quality



hyperactive

hypercritical

hypersensitive
hyper- prefix

more than usual or normal: used with some adjectives and nouns to make adjectives and nouns:


hypersensitive
hyperinflation
hyper-

Pronounced:

/ˈhaɪpɚ/



Function:

prefix


Meaning:

1 : excessively or extremely ▪ hyperactive ▪ hypersensitive


2 : excessive or extreme ▪ hypersensitivity ▪ hypertension
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hypo-

prefix


(also hyp-)

(in adjectives and nouns) under; below normal



hypodermic

hypothermia
hypo- prefix technical

less than usual, especially too little



hypothermia (=condition in which your body temperature is too low)

a hypodermic injection (=given under the skin)
--- [not in Cambridge]
--- [not in Macmillan]
hypo-

Function:

prefix


Meaning:

1 : under : beneath : down ▪ hypodermic


2 : less than normal or normally ▪ hypotension ▪ hypothermia
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(psych)iatry/(psych)iatric
--- [not found in any of the dictionaries]

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-ic

suffix


1 (in adjectives and nouns)

connected with



scenic

economic

Arabic

2 (in adjectives)

that performs the action mentioned

horrific

specific

-ical


(in adjectives)

comical
-ic suffix

1 [in adjectives] of, like, or related to a particular thing



photographic (=of photography)

an alcoholic drink (=containing alcohol)

polysyllabic (=containing several syllables)

pelvic (=of the pelvis)

Byronic (=like or connected with the poet Byron)

2 [in nouns] someone who is affected by a particular unusual condition, a mental illness for example



an alcoholic (=someone who cannot stop drinking alcohol)

-ical suffix [in adjectives]

another form of the suffix –ic (1)

historical (=of history)

satirical
-ic suffix (ALSO -ical)
used to form adjectives:
scenic
economic
--- [not in Macmillan]
1 -ic

Pronounced:

/ɪk/


Function:

adjective suffix



Meaning:

1 : having the character or form of ▪ panoramic ▪ cherubic

2 a : of or relating to ▪ chivalric b : coming from or containing ▪ acidic

3 : in the manner of : like that of ▪ autocratic

4 : making use of ▪ electronic ▪ atomic

2 -ic

Function:

noun suffix



Meaning:

1 : someone belonging to or connected with ▪ academic

2 : someone affected by ▪ alcoholic

-i·cal



Pronounced:

/ɪkəl/


Function:

adjective suffix



Meaning:

: 1-icsymmetrical ▪ geological
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-ify

suffix


-fy

 (in verbs)

to make or become

purify

solidify
-ify suffix [in verbs] also -fy

1 to make something be in a particular state or condition



to purify (=make or become pure)

to clarify the situation (=make it clear)

2 to fill someone with a particular feeling



Spiders terrify me (=make me very afraid).

3 informal to do something in a silly or annoying way



to speechify (=make speeches, using important sounding words)

4 to make something or someone be like or typical of a person or group



Frenchified (=like the French)
-ify, -fy suffix
used to form verbs meaning to cause an increase in the stated quality; to become:
simplify
beautify
-ify suffix

used with some adjectives and nouns to make verbs meaning to become or make someone or something become something:


classify
purify
pacify
terrify
-i·fy

Pronounced:

/əˌfaɪ/


Function:

verb suffix



Meaning:

: -fy

-fy



Pronounced:

/faɪ/


Function:

verb suffix



Meaning:

: cause to become ▪ beautify ▪ purify
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in-

prefix

1 (also il- im- ir- )

(in adjectives, adverbs and nouns) not; the opposite of



infinite

illogical

immorally

irrelevance

2 (also im- )

(in verbs)

to put into the condition mentioned



inflame

imperil
in- prefix

the opposite or lack of something

ᅳsynonym not

ᅳsee also un-, il-, im-, ir-



insensitive (=not sensitive)

incautious (=not cautious)

inattention (=lack of attention)

il- prefix

the form used for in- before l



illogical (=not logical)

im- prefix

the form used for in- before b, m, or p



immobilize

impossible

ir- prefix

used instead of in- before the letter r

ᅳsynonym not

irregular (=not regular)
in- (LACKING), BEFORE L il-, BEFORE B, M OR P im-, BEFORE R ir- prefix
used to add the meaning 'not', 'lacking', or 'the opposite of' to adjectives and to words formed from adjectives:
incomplete/incompletely
illegal/illegally
impossible/impossibly
irregular/irregularly

in- prefix

not or no: used with some adjectives and nouns:


inoffensive
inaction (=lack of action)

il- prefix

not or no: used with some adjectives and nouns that begin with ‘l’ to give the opposite meaning:


illogical
illegal

im- prefix

not or no: used with some adjectives and nouns that begin with ‘b’, ‘m’, and ‘p’ to give the opposite meaning:


impossible
impatient
immature

ir- prefix

not or no: used with some adjectives and nouns that begin with ‘r’ to give the opposite meaning:


irregularity
irreplaceable
in- or il- or im- or ir-

Function:

prefix


Meaning:

: not ▪ inconclusive ▪ inaccurate ▪ illogical ▪ immoral ▪ impractical ▪ irrational
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(bov)ine


--- [not found in any of the dictionaries]

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-ing suffix

used to make the present participle of regular verbs



hating

walking

loving
-ing suffix

1 forms the present participle of verbs



They're dancing.

to go dancing

a dancing bear

2 [in uncountable nouns] the action or process of doing something



She hates swimming.

No parking.

3 [in countable nouns]

a) an example of doing something

to hold a meeting

b) a product or result of doing something



a beautiful painting

4 [in nouns] something used to do something or used for making something



a silk lining

ten metres of curtaining (=cloth for curtains)
-ing suffix
used to form the present participle of regular verbs:
calling
asking
---- [not in Macmillan]
1 -ing

Pronounced:

/ɪŋ, ɪn/



Function:

verb suffix or adjective suffix



Meaning:

—used to form the present participle of a verb ▪ sailing ▪ going


2 -ing

Function:

noun suffix



Meaning:

1 : action or process ▪ running ▪ sleeping ▪ meeting ▪ drawing ▪ washing


2 : product or result of an action or process ▪ a painting ▪ an engraving
3 : something used in or connected with making or doing (a specified thing) ▪ bedding ▪ roofing ▪ scaffolding
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inter-

prefix


(in verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs)

between; from one to another



interface

interaction

international
inter- prefix

between or involving two or more different things, places, or people [↪ intra-, intro-]:



interdepartmental (=between or involving different departments in a company, government etc)

an interstate (=a road that goes between states)
inter- prefix

used to form adjectives meaning 'between or among the stated people, things or places'



international

an interdepartmental meeting

intercontinental missiles
inter- prefix

between: used with some nouns, verbs, or adjectives:


an intercity train
intermarriage (=between people of different races, religions etc)
inter-

Pronounced:

/ɪntɚ/


Function:

prefix


Meaning:

1 : between : among : together ▪ interlock ▪ intertwine ▪ interrelation ▪ interrelate


2 : involving two or more ▪ international ▪ interdepartmental ▪ interfaith
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-ion (also -ation, -ition, -sion, -tion, -xion) suffix

(in nouns) the action or state of



hesitation

competition

confession
-ion suffix [in nouns]

the act, state, or result of doing something



the completion of the task (=act of finishing it)

his election (=he was elected) to the post

Young children demand a lot of attention.

-ation suffix [in nouns]

the act, state, or result of doing something



an examination of the contents (=examining them)

the combination of several factors

-tion suffix [in nouns]

another form of the suffix -ion


-ion suffix /-ən/ (also -ation , also -ition)

added to verbs to form nouns showing action or condition:


obsession
restoration
repetition
-tion suffix

used with verbs to make nouns:


decoration (=something used for decorating or the process of decorating)
-ation

Function:

noun suffix



Meaning:

: the action or process of doing something ▪ visitation ▪ memorization

-ion



Function:

noun suffix



Meaning:

1 a : act or process ▪ validation ▪ refrigeration ▪ rebellion b : result of an act or process ▪ regulation ▪ rejection

2 : state or condition ▪ perfection
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-ish suffix (in adjectives)

1 from the country mentioned



Turkish

Irish

2 (sometimes disapproving) having the nature of; like



childish

3 fairly; approximately



reddish

thirtyish
-ish suffix

1 [in nouns] the people or language of a particular country or place



Are the British unfriendly?

learning to speak Turkish

She's Swedish.

2 [in adjectives] of a particular place



Spanish food (=from Spain)

3 [in adjectives] typical of or like a particular type of person



foolish behaviour (=typical of a fool)

Don't be so childish! (=do not behave like a child)

snobbish

4 [in adjectives] the ending of some adjectives that show disapproval



selfish

5 [in adjectives] rather

ᅳsynonym quite

youngish (=not very young, but not old either)

tallish

reddish hair

6 [in adjectives] spoken approximately



We'll expect you eightish (=at about 8 o'clock).

He's fortyish (=about 40 years old).
-ish suffix (FROM PLACE )

used to form adjectives and nouns which say what country or area a person, thing or language comes from



Spanish dancing (= dancing from Spain)

Are you English (= someone from England)?

I've always liked the Irish (= people from Ireland).

Do you speak Swedish (= the language of Sweden)?

-ish suffix (LIKE)
used to form adjectives which say what a person, thing or action is like:
foolish
childish

-ish suffix (QUITE)
used to form adjectives to give the meaning to some degree; partly; quite:
He had a sort of reddish beard.
She was oldish - about 60, I'd say.
We'll start at sevenish (= about 7 o'clock).
-ish suffix

1 used with the names of places to make adjectives and nouns meaning relating to a particular place or describing someone who comes from a particular place
Swedish
the Irish

2 used with some nouns to make adjectives describing a quality that someone or something has
an impish grin
childish behaviour

3 used with many adjectives to make other adjectives meaning slightly or fairly
a bluish tint

4 used with many numbers to make adverbs meaning APPROXIMATELY
We'll have lunch around one-ish.
‘How old is she?’ ‘I don't know. Fortyish, I guess.’
-ish

Function:

adjective suffix



Meaning:

: almost or approximately ▪ The car is greenish. [=the car is a color that is almost green] ▪ She looks to be about fiftyish. [=she looks like she is around 50 years old]
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-ism

suffix


(in nouns)

1 the action or result of



criticism

2 the state or quality of



heroism

3 the teaching, system or movement of



Buddhism

4 unfair treatment or hatred for the reason mentioned



racism

5 a feature of language of the type mentioned



an Americanism

a colloquialism

6 a medical condition or disease



alcoholism
-ism suffix [in nouns]

1 a political belief or religion based on a particular principle or the ideas and beliefs of a particular person



socialism

Buddhism

2 the action or process of doing something



his criticism of my work

3 an action or remark that has a particular quality



her witticisms (=funny remarks)

4 the state of being like something or someone, or having a particular quality



heroism (=being a hero; bravery)

magnetism (=being magnetic)

5 illness caused by too much of something



alcoholism

6 the practice of treating people unfairly because of something



sexism (=making unfair differences between men and women)

racism
-ism suffix

• used to form nouns which describe social, political or religious beliefs, studies or ways of behaving



sexism

feminism

Buddhism

• an example of typical behaviour



That expression was a real Taylor-ism (= an example of behaving or speaking like Taylor).
--- [not in Macmillan]
-ism

Pronounced:

/ɪzəm/


Function:

noun suffix



Meaning:

1 a : the act, practice, or process of doing something —used to form nouns from verbs that end in -ize ▪ criticism ▪ plagiarism ▪ hypnotism b : behavior like that of a specified kind of person or thing ▪ heroism c : unfair treatment of a group of people who have a particular quality ▪ racism ▪ sexism


2 : the state or fact of being a specified kind of person or thing ▪ skepticism ▪ fanaticism
3 medical : abnormal state or condition ▪ alcoholism ▪ dwarfism
4 : teachings or beliefs ▪ Buddhism ▪ Marxism ▪ socialism ▪ stoicism ▪ realism
5 a : a word that is from a specified source ▪ a Latinism [=a word or phrase that comes from a Latin word or phrase] b : a word that has a specified quality ▪ a colloquialism
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