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Definition 2022


-ity

-ity

See also: -itý

English

Alternative forms

Suffix

-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

  • 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

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:English_words_suffixed_with_-ity'>English words suffixed with -ity</a>

Related terms

Translations

Synonyms