1. a suffix forming nouns which refer to domain (kingdom), collection of persons (officialdom), rank or station (earldom), or general condition (freedom).

Origin of -dom

Middle English; Old English -dōm; cognate with Old Norse -dōmr, German -tum; see doom
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British Dictionary definitions for -dom


suffix forming nouns
  1. state or conditionfreedom; martyrdom
  2. rank or officeearldom
  3. domainkingdom; Christendom
  4. a collection of personsofficialdom

Word Origin for -dom

Old English -dōm
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for -dom

abstract suffix of state, from Old English dom "statute, judgment" (see doom (n.)). Already active as a suffix in Old English (e.g. freodom, wisdom); from stem *do- "do" + *-moz abstract suffix. Cf. cognate German -tum, Old High German tuom.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper