• -ity

    Pronunciation

    • IPA: ɪtɪ; but see the usage notes below

    Alternative forms

    Origin

    From French -ité, from Middle French -ité, from Old French -ete, -eteit ("-ity"), from Latin -itātem, from -itās, from Proto-Indo-European *-it-. Cognate with Gothic -𐌹𐌸𐌰 (-iþa, "-th"), Old High German -ida ("-th"), Old English -þo, -þu, ("-th"). More at -th.

    Full definition of -ity

    Suffix

    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 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 is pronounced , before -ity it becomes ; compare, for example, elastic and elasticity.

    Final -e is dropped before adding this suffix.

    Derived terms

    Synonyms

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