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Result of a wrong segmentation of two suffixes in Upper German dialects of Middle High German: -ec (modern -ig) and -heit: -ec-heit was interpreted as -e-keit.[1]. Later this phenomenon spread to other suffixes, and even to Central German dialects, in which the equivalents of -ig had never been pronounced with a final [k]-sound. (Compare the modern standard pronunciation of -ig [-ɪç].)


  • IPA(key): /kaɪ̯t/, [kaɪ̯t]


-keit f (plural -keiten)

  1. Alternative form of -heit
    wirksam (effective) + ‎-keit → ‎Wirksamkeit (effectiveness)

Usage notes[edit]

  • See -heit for notes on the use of the two variants.

Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Kluge, Friedrich (1989), “-heit”, in Elmar Seebold, editor, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache [Etymological dictionary of the German language] (in German), 22nd edition, ISBN 3-11-006800-1