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).
a suffix used to form adjectives from other adjectives, with the sense of “somewhat,” “rather” (oldish; reddish; sweetish).
Damn, GinaRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Why Are People from the Netherlands Called Dutch?A demonym is any name derived from a place that helps describe people who live there. Californians are people who live in California. Frenchmen live in France. And so on. But what about the demonyms that are seemingly random? How the heck did people from the Netherlands become the Dutch, for example? Where Dutch came from Before we dig into this demonym, there are three …
Origin of -ish1
Middle English; Old English -isc; cognate with German -isch, Gothic -isks, Greek -iskos; akin to -esque
a suffix occurring in i-stem verbs borrowed from French: ravish.
Origin of -ish2
< French -iss-, extended stem of verbs with infinitives in -ir ≪ Latin -isc-, in inceptive verbs
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
suffix forming adjectives
of or belonging to a nationality or groupScottish
often derogatory having the manner or qualities of; resemblingslavish; prudish; boyish
somewhat; approximatelyyellowish; sevenish
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
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