-ίτης

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Back-formation from πολῑ́της ‎(polī́tēs), from πόλις ‎(pólis, city) +‎ -της ‎(-tēs). The from the stem of πόλις became part of the suffix: πολῑ́-της was reanalyzed as πολ-ῑ́της.

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Suffix[edit]

-ῑ́της ‎(-ī́tēsm ‎(genitive -ῑ́του) first declension

  1. Suffix forming a masculine noun: one connected to, a member of; one from a particular place (demonym)

Usage notes[edit]

Originally forming generic adjectives, such as πολ-ίτης ‎(pol-ítēs, one from the city, citizen) from πόλις ‎(pólis, city); ὁπλ-ίτης ‎(hopl-ítēs, one with armour, hoplite) from ὅπλον ‎(hóplon, large shield).

But by the Hellenistic period, both the masculine -ίτης and the feminine -ῖτις became very productive in forming technical terms for products, diseases, minerals and gems (adjectives with elliptic λίθος ‎(líthos, stone)), ethnic designations and Biblical tribal names. These technical uses survive in modern languages in Greek loanwords for diseases (in -itis), for minerals (in -ite) and for nations, tribes or religious sects (plurals in -ites), partly also in common nouns such as hermit.

Declension[edit]

Descendants[edit]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  • Smyth, Herbert Weir (1920), “Part III: Formation of Words”, in A Greek grammar for colleges, Cambridge: American Book Company, § 843