-ism
noun suffix Etymology: Middle English -isme, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, partly from Latin -isma (from Greek) & partly from Latin -ismus, from Greek -ismos; Greek -isma & -ismos, from verbs in -izein -ize 1. a. act ; practice ; process <
criticism
>
<
plagiarism
>
b. manner of action or behavior characteristic of a (specified) person or thing <
animalism
>
c. prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a (specified) attribute <
racism
>
<
sexism
>
2. a. state ; condition ; property <
barbarianism
>
b. abnormal state or condition resulting from excess of a (specified) thing <
alcoholism
>
or marked by resemblance to (such) a person or thing <
giantism
>
3. a. doctrine ; theory ; religion <
Buddhism
>
b. adherence to a system or a class of principles <
stoicism
>
4. characteristic or peculiar feature or trait <
colloquialism
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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