Suffix -wise

Friday, July 7, 2023


The suffix -wise is quite versatile in informal situations. It can be added to almost any noun to form an adjective or adverb to mean with respect to or concerning, in the manner of or in the direction of

  • Food-wise there are many excellent choices on the menu, but money-wise the prices are high.
  • Everything is going well job-wise but things could be better salary-wise.
  • Health-wise Marie has completely recovered after chemotherapy.

I like to divide -wise into two categories: 

  1.  Directional or in the manner of (clockwise, counterclockwise, lengthwise, crosswise, etc). These usually drop the hyphen because they are fixed expressions. Other examples could be otherwise or likewise.  Ex: Turn the dial clockwise to open. 
  2.  Respect to or concerning (security-wise, school-wise, tax-wise, money-wise, etc.). The suffix -wise is attached to a noun with a hyphen.  Ex: Hillary always knows the current trends fashion-wise. (With respect to fashion, Hillary always knows the current trends.)
Adding -wise to nouns in informal English provides more versatility for you speaking-wise and writing-wise ;) 

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