From Middle English -wis, from Old English -wīs (“-wise”), from Proto-West Germanic *-wīs, from Proto-Germanic *-wīsaz, from Proto-Germanic *wīsaz (“wise, skilled, knowledgeable”), related to Old English wīs, wīse (“manner, way, fashion”). Cognate with Saterland Frisian -wiese, Dutch -wijs, German -weise, Danish -vis, Swedish -vis, Norwegian Bokmål -vis (“-wise”). More at wise (“way, manner”).
- in the direction or orientation of
- The gaoler slowly turned the key clockwise.
- in the manner of
- You need to follow the instructions carefully; otherwise, the project may not turn out.
- Contrariwise, it could be a good idea.
- in the matter of; with regard to
- This morning looks promising, weather-wise.
- 1919, Saki, ‘The Penance’, The Toys of Peace, Penguin 2000 (Complete Short Stories), p. 423:
- They had parents in India—that much Octavian had learned in the neighbourhood; the children, beyond grouping themselves garment-wise into sexes, a girl and two boys, carried their life-story no further on his behoof.
- One (thing) at a time
- Add the reagent dropwise to the solution.
- The suffix -wise is particularly productive in Indian English. See for example classwise, datewise, subjectwise.
From wīse (“manner, way, condition, direction”).
- (noun suffix) state of, manner of, condition; direction
- riht (“just, right”) + -wīse → rihtwīse (“righteousness, justice”)
- cniht (“boy, youth”) + -wīse → cnihtwīse (“boyishness”)
- cyne- (“public, nation, kindred”) + -wīse → cynewīse (“commonweath, state”)
- lēoþ (“song, tune, poem”) + -wīse → lēoþwīse (“poetry, verse”)
- bēag (“ring, hoop, circle”) + -wīse → bēagwīse (“sphere, circular form”)
- (noun suffix) the custom or fashion of
- (adverbial suffix) in the manner or fashion of; in the direction of