- a native English suffix of nouns denoting condition, character, office, skill, etc.: clerkship; friendship; statesmanship.
Origin of -ship
- indicating state or conditionfellowship
- indicating rank, office, or positionlordship
- indicating craft or skillhorsemanship; workmanship; scholarship
Word Origin and History for -ship
word-forming element meaning "quality, condition; act, power, skill; office, position; relation between," Middle English -schipe, from Old English -sciepe, Anglian -scip "state, condition of being," from Proto-Germanic *-skapaz (cf. Old Norse -skapr, Danish -skab, Old Frisian -skip, Dutch -schap, German -schaft), from *skap- "to create, ordain, appoint," from PIE root *(s)kep- (see shape (v.)).