a suffix of nouns that denote a body of facts, knowledge, principles, etc., usually corresponding to adjectives ending in -ic or -ical: ethics; physics; politics; tactics.
English Affixes From A To Z: A One-Stop List Of Suffixes, Prefixes, and Combining FormsIn English, we love to make new words by adding all sorts of bits to the front and back of existing terms. These are called affixes, and they are added to the base or stem of a word. When attached to the end of word, the affix is called a suffix. And to the beginning? A prefix.
Origin of -ics
plural of -ic, representing Latin -ica (< Greek -ika, neuter plural of -ikos), as in rhētórica (plural) rhetoric book
Nouns ending in -ics that name fields of study, sciences, arts, professions, or the like are usually not preceded by an article and are used with a singular verb: Acoustics (the science) deals with sound. Politics (the art of government) fascinates me. In certain uses, often when preceded by a determiner like the, his, her, or their, most of these nouns can take a plural verb: The acoustics (the sound-reflecting qualities) of the hall are splendid. Their politics (political opinions) have antagonized everyone.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for -ics
suffix forming nouns (functioning as singular)
indicating a science, art, or matters relating to a particular subjectaeronautics; politics
indicating certain activities or practicesacrobatics
Word Origin for -ics
plural of -ic, representing Latin -ica, from Greek -ika, as in mathēmatika mathematics
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
Medicine definitions for -ics
Science; art; study; knowledge; skill:pharmaceutics.
Actions, activities, or practices of:macrobiotics.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.