-ity

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See also: -itý

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from French -ité, from Middle French -ité, from Old French -ete, -eteit (-ity), from Latin -itātem, from -itās, from Proto-Indo-European *-it- (suffix). Cognate with Gothic -𐌹𐌸𐌰 (-iþa, -th), Old High German -ida (-th), Old English -þo, -þu, (-th). More at -th.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [ɪti]; but see the usage notes below

Suffix[edit]

-ity

  1. Used to form a noun from an adjective; especially, to form the noun referring to the state, property, or quality of conforming to the adjective's description.
  2. Used to form other nouns, especially abstract nouns.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Many nouns formed with -ity are uncountable; those that are countable form their plurals in -ities.
  • The addition of -ity to an adjective results in a shift of stress to the antepenultimate syllable; that is, words in -ity are stressed on the last syllable before the -ity, even in cases where this syllable is part of another suffix (as in words in -ability and -icity). Further, this shift typically results in a change in vowel quality; compare, for example, real and reality, where the sound [æ] in the second word is not present in the first. These vowel quality changes are usually consistent with the spelling of both forms — note that the letter <a> in the second word is present in the first — but sometimes spelling changes are seen, as with the suffix -ous, which when it combines with -ity produces the suffix -osity.
  • While a final -c is pronounced [k], before -ity it becomes [s]; compare, for example, elastic and elasticity.
  • Final -e is dropped before adding this suffix.

Derived terms[edit]


Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]