Meaning of -Y in English

-Y

I. adjective suffix

also -ey _ē, i

( usually -ier usually -iest )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English -ig; akin to Old High German -īg -y, Old Norse -igr, Gothic -eigs, -igs, Latin -icus, Greek -ikos, Sanskrit -ika

1.

a. : characterized by : full of — in adjectives formed from nouns

blossom y

dirt y

— in many words formed from a base word having final postconsonantal mute e and with omission of the e

mir y

mir ey

spin y

spin ey

— accompanied by doubling of the final consonant of the base word immediately after a short stressed vowel

legg y

mudd y

— in the form -ey regularly after a final y

clay ey

or vowel other than postconsonantal mute e

mosquito ey

glu ey

sometimes with a change of y to i

ski ey

or where -y would duplicate another word

hol ey

b. : having the character of : composed of — in adjectives formed from nouns

ic y

water y

lac y

wax y

rant y

c. : characteristic of, resembling, or suggesting someone or something indicated : having some of the qualities of : that is like or like that of — in adjectives formed from nouns

hom ey

wintr y

folks y

garbag y

win y

often with a disparaging connotation

gadget y

milquetoast y

schoolteacher y

rabbit y

Hollywood y

bedroom y

barn y

stag y

d. : devoted to : addicted to : enthusiastic over — in adjectives formed from nouns

hors y

outdoors y

ism y

2.

a. : tending or inclined to — in adjectives formed from verbs

cling y

sleep y

chatt y

cri ey

b. : giving occasion for (specified) action

tear y

yumm y

— usually in adjectives formed from verbs

munch y

picnick y

c. : performing (specified) action or being in a (specified) mode of existence : -ing — in adjectives formed from verbs

twinkl y

curl y

3.

a. : somewhat : rather : -ish — in adjectives formed from adjectives

purpl y

sued y

wooden y

b. : having (such) characteristics to a marked degree

Scotch y

Dutch y

or in an affected or superficial way

French y

— in adjectives formed from adjectives

II. noun suffix

( plural -ies )

Etymology: Middle English -ie, from Old French, from Latin -ia, from Greek -ia, -eia

1. : state : condition : quality — chiefly in combining forms derived from French, Latin, or Greek

-alg y

-andr y

-crac y

-soph y

-tom y

2. : activity, place of business, or goods dealt with

chandler y

cooper y

laundr y

executr y

3. : whole body or group

soldier y

III. noun suffix

( plural -ies )

Etymology: Middle English -ie, from Anglo-French, from Latin -ium

: instance of a (specified) action

expir y

entreat y

inquir y

IV.

— see -ie

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.