[ fool ]
/ fʊl /
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noun, plural Fuls, (especially collectively) Ful.
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Other definitions for Ful (2 of 2)


a suffix meaning “full of,” “characterized by” (shameful; beautiful; careful; thoughtful); “tending to,” “able to” (wakeful; harmful); “as much as will fill” (spoonful).

Origin of -ful

Middle English, Old English -full, -ful, representing full, fulfull1

usage note for -ful

The plurals of nouns ending in -ful are usually formed by adding -s to the suffix: two cupfuls; two scant teaspoonfuls. Perhaps influenced by the phrase in which a noun is followed by the adjective full ( both arms full of packages ), some speakers and writers pluralize such nouns by adding -s before the suffix: two cupsful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -ful mean?

The suffixful means “full of,” “characterized by,” “tending to,” “able to,” or “as much as will fill.” It is often used in a variety of technical and everyday terms.

The suffix –ful comes from Old English –full, meaning “full.” The Latin equivalent of –ful is –ōsus, meaning “full of,” which has become the English adjectival suffixes ose, as in jocose, and ous, as in glorious. To learn more, check out all four entries.

Examples of -ful

An example of a word you may have encountered that features –ful is beautiful, “having beauty.”

The beauti– part of the word means “beauty,” as in a quality that gives pleasure. The –ful part of the word means “full of,” as we have seen. Beautiful literally translates to “full of beauty.”

What are some words that use the equivalents of the combining form –ful in Middle or Old English?

What are some other forms that –ful may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

Given the meaning of –ful, what does shameful literally mean?

How to use Ful in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Ful


(forming adjectives) full of or characterized bypainful; spiteful; restful
(forming adjectives) able or tending tohelpful; useful
(forming nouns) indicating as much as will fill the thing specifiedmouthful; spoonful

Word Origin for -ful

Old English -ful, -full, from full 1

usage for -ful

Where the amount held by a spoon, etc, is used as a rough unit of measurement, the correct form is spoonful, etc: take a spoonful of this medicine every day . Spoon full is used in a sentence such as he held out a spoon full of dark liquid, where full of describes the spoon. A plural form such as spoonfuls is preferred by many speakers and writers to spoonsful
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