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-ship

  1. a native English suffix of nouns denoting condition, character, office, skill, etc.: clerkship; friendship; statesmanship.
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Origin of -ship

Middle English, Old English -scipe; akin to shape; cognate with dialectal Frisian, dialectal Dutch schip
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for -ship

-ship

suffix forming nouns
  1. indicating state or conditionfellowship
  2. indicating rank, office, or positionlordship
  3. indicating craft or skillhorsemanship; workmanship; scholarship
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Word Origin for -ship

Old English -scipe; compare shape
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 -ship

word-forming element meaning "quality, condition; act, power, skill; office, position; relation between," Middle English -schipe, from Old English -sciepe, Anglian -scip "state, condition of being," from Proto-Germanic *-skapaz (cf. Old Norse -skapr, Danish -skab, Old Frisian -skip, Dutch -schap, German -schaft), from *skap- "to create, ordain, appoint," from PIE root *(s)kep- (see shape (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper