a suffixal use of wise2 in adverbs denoting manner, position, direction, reference, etc.: counterclockwise; edgewise; marketwise; timewise.
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The suffix -wise is old in the language in adverbs referring to manner, direction, etc.: crosswise; lengthwise. Coinages like marketwise, saleswise, and weatherwise are often criticized, perhaps because of their association with the media: Otherwise—or moneywise, as they were already saying in the motion-picture industry—Hollywood was at the crest of its supercolossal glory. This suffix should not be confused with the adjective wise1 , which appears in such compound words as streetwise and worldly-wise.
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British Dictionary definitions for -wise
adv combining form
Also: -ways indicating direction or mannerclockwise; likewise
with reference toprofitwise; businesswise
Word Origin for -wise
Old English -wisan; see wise ²
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