From Middle English -ful, -full, from Old English -ful, -full (“full of; -ful”), from Proto-Germanic *-fullaz (“-ful”), from Proto-Germanic *fullaz (“full”), see full. Cognate with Saterland Frisian -ful (“-ful”), West Frisian -fol (“-ful”), Dutch -vol (“-ful”), German -voll (“-ful”), Swedish -full (“-ful”), Icelandic -fullur, -fyllur (“-ful”).
- Used to form adjectives from nouns. An adjective derived by this suffix implies a thorough and certain possession of the quality of that noun, not a metaphorical fullness with it by degree or quantity. One who is wakeful is fully awake, not frequently waking; what is changeful is uncertain, not transformed; what is harmful may do a single and a mild injury.
- Used to form nouns from nouns meaning “as much as can be held by what is denoted by the noun”
- full of