Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-wise

In a given way or manner; with respect to or concerning.

[Old English wīse, manner or custom.]

The first sense has long been represented in English: clockwise, crabwise, lengthwise, likewise, otherwise. The suffix has in the past century largely taken over the function, and some of the territory, of -ways. A few pairs are in use: edgewise and edgeways; breadthwise and breadthways; crosswise and crossways. However, new forms always employ -wise.

In the past half century, the suffix has taken on an informal sense of ‘in connection with something’: careerwise, clotheswise, plotwise, realitywise, successwise, timewise. This originated in American English and is still more common there than in other varieties of the language. Such words are frequently created in informal contexts, but are often deprecated in formal writing.

Forms such as streetwise, having the skills and knowledge necessary for dealing with modern urban life, are compounds using the adjective wise, not examples of the suffix.

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