-ish

1
  1. a suffix used to form adjectives from nouns, with the sense of “belonging to” (British; Danish; English; Spanish); “after the manner of,” “having the characteristics of,” “like” (babyish; girlish; mulish); “addicted to,” “inclined or tending to” (bookish; freakish); “near or about” (fiftyish; sevenish).
  2. a suffix used to form adjectives from other adjectives, with the sense of “somewhat,” “rather” (oldish; reddish; sweetish).

Origin of -ish

1
Middle English; Old English -isc; cognate with German -isch, Gothic -isks, Greek -iskos; akin to -esque

-ish

2
  1. a suffix occurring in i-stem verbs borrowed from French: ravish.

Origin of -ish

2
< French -iss-, extended stem of verbs with infinitives in -irLatin -isc-, in inceptive verbs
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for -ish

-ish

suffix forming adjectives
  1. of or belonging to a nationality or groupScottish
  2. often derogatory having the manner or qualities of; resemblingslavish; prudish; boyish
  3. somewhat; approximatelyyellowish; sevenish
  4. concerned or preoccupied withbookish

Word Origin for -ish

Old English -isc; related to German -isch, Greek -iskos
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 -ish

adjectival suffix, from Old English -isc, common Germanic (cf. Old Norse -iskr, German -isch, Gothic -isks), cognate with Greek diminutive suffix -iskos. Colloquially attached to hours to denote approximation, 1916.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper