Forming abstract nouns.
[Old English -scipe, -scype, related to shape.]
This ending is broadly applied and active in the language.
It can denote a quality, condition, or state: censorship, courtship, companionship, friendship, hardship, relationship, worship. It can signify status, office, rank, or honour: ambassadorship, citizenship, lordship, kingship; this sense overlaps somewhat with the idea of a period or tenure of office, or the office itself: chairmanship, dictatorship, directorship, headship, internship, partnership, professorship. A further group indicates a skill in a certain capacity: authorship, curatorship, entrepreneurship, musicianship; many terms with this meaning end in -manship. Some examples denote the collective individuals of a group: membership, readership (and the more recent viewership and listenership); however, township, originally indicating the inhabitants of a town, now usually refers to an area where people live. Other terms ending in ship are compounds of various senses of the word ship: airship, midships, trans-ship, warship.