Scrabble Word Suffixes

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The word suffix on a Scrabble board
By Stephen Lunt 21 AUG 2023

Learn if word suffixes are allowed in Scrabble and how they can be used to help you win your next game by successfully extending and hooking off words.

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In this article

What is a suffix?

A suffix is defined as a letter or group of letters added to the end of a word to modify the word’s meaning. For example, simply adding an “s” to the end of a word to make it plural, or “ed” to make the word past tense.

Are suffixes allowed in Scrabble?

The answer to this question is, it depends. If you read the Scrabble rules provided with your Scrabble set, you may notice it states “There are some words that are not allowed to be played and these include suffixes, prefixes, and abbreviations.”

However, most official game dictionaries such as the Collins Scrabble Words List include versions of words with suffixes. In fact, some Scrabble rule sets even discuss using an “s” to extend words as a game strategy.

Our own advice would be to agree on a dictionary (either printed or a word finder website) before beginning your game, and simply consult it if a word with a suffix is challenged. This ensures the game remains fair by using an agreed-upon valid word list.

Why suffixes are so important in Scrabble

Suffixes can be very powerful in Scrabble and give players a winning edge if used correctly. Here are some of the ways to utilize common suffixes.

Using suffixes to extend words

One of the main advantages of word suffixes is that they can be used to extend existing words on the board. Most English words can be extended with one of many suffix combinations to add alternate meanings to them.

For example, if the word “Play” was already on the board, it can be extended to make “Playing”. Or the word “Win” could be extended to “Winning” or “Winner” to name a few examples.

The additional advantage to this strategy is that you may be able to take a shorter word and extend it across a bonus square to get double or triple its original points.

How to get a Scrabble Bingo with suffixes

Holding onto suffixes is a great way to build Bingos. This means if you spot a common suffix in your letter rack, it may be a good idea to hold these letters back in an attempt to build up a 7-letter word. As Bingos give you a bonus of 50 points, this is an excellent way to score more points and win the game!

For example, if you have the letter combination “er” these can be added to most words either before (prefix) or after (suffix). That means you only need to then make a 5-letter word from your remaining tiles to get a Bingo.

Our top tip: if you spot the letters that make up a common suffix in your rack (for example “ing”) shift them to the right of the rack. This way, you can easily visualize a Bingo you may have before even playing it.

The “S” suffix

We have left the letter “s” until last as we think it’s possibly the most powerful suffix in the game. This is because “s” or “es” can be added to the end of virtually any words in Scrabble to either make them longer or give you a chance to get a Bingo.

Moreover, “s” can also be combined with many of the other suffixes above, which makes it great for Bingos. For example, “ings” and “ers” suffixes.

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Below are some of the most popular suffixes in the English language and examples of their meaning, along with associated words and points to give you inspiration for Scrabble.

-ing

Meaning: an action or result.

Examples:

  • Hitting - to hit something (7 letters, 11 points).
  • Coming - the act of something becoming nearer in time or distance (6 letters, 11 points).
  • Amazing - something which is admirable, wonderful, or surprising (7 letters, 19 points).
  • Boxing - to put something in a box or to engage in a fight using your fists (6 letters, 16 points).

Read more about words ending in “ing” or see a full list of “ing” ending words.

-ed

Meaning: past-tense version of a verb.

Examples:

  • Educated - to possess an education or be taught something (8 letters, 12 points).
  • Submerged - to put something or someone underneath the water surface (9 letters, 15 points).
  • Disconnected - to unconnect something or a sudden change (12 letters, 18 points).
  • Unexpected - something not anticipated to happen (10 letters, 22 points).

View all words ending in “ed”.

-er and -or

Meaning: someone who performs an action or a person who is something or making an adjective comparable.

Examples:

  • Dazer - a device which produces high-frequency sound waves to daze something or someone (5 letters, 15 points).
  • Fixer - a person who fixes (repairs or mends) things (5 letters, 15 points).
  • Zoner - someone who puts things into zones (5 letters, 14 points).
  • Major - something important or significant, or a rank in the military (5 letters, 14 points).

Check out the full list of words ending in “er” and all words ending in “or” for more suggestions.

-age

Meaning: a result of something.

Examples:

  • Heritage - something which is inherited from generation to generation (8 letters, 12 points).
  • Language - a systematic means of communicating (8 letters, 10 points).
  • Vintage - something which is old (7 letters, 11 points).
  • Leakage - fluid discharged from a leak (7 letters, 12 points).

See more words ending with “age”.

-less

Meaning: without.

Examples:

  • Worthless - meaning something has no value (9 letters, 15 points).
  • Mindless - to be unintelligible or act without thinking (8 letters, 11 points).
  • Queenless - to be without a queen (9 letters, 18 points).
  • Zipless - without a zip (7 letters, 18 points).

View all words ending in “less”.

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-ish

Meaning: a little.

Examples:

  • Distinguish - to detect something or mark it as different from the rest (11 letters, 16 points).
  • Sheepish - to lack confidence in something (8 letters, 16 points).
  • Boyish - to act like a boy or child (6 letters, 14 points).
  • Squabbish - to be somewhat fat or thick (9 letters, 25 points).

See all words ending in “ish” for more.

-ful

Meaning: notable for or full of.

Examples:

  • Zestful - full of energy and enthusiasm (7 letters, 19 points).
  • Awful - something that is very bad (5 letters, 11 points).
  • Wreckful - to ruin something or be destructive (8 letters, 20 points).
  • Flavourful - for something to be full of flavour or taste (10 letters, 19 points).

See the full list of words ending in “ful”.

-ive

Meaning: having the nature of.

Examples:

  • Deprive - to deny someone of something (7 letters, 13 points).
  • Overdrive - a state of heightened activity, energy, or intensity (9 letters, 16 points).
  • Rejective - the act of rejecting or refusing something (9 letters, 21 points).
  • Qualitative - relating to quality of character rather than quantity (11 letters, 23 points).

View all words ending in “ive”.

-ise and -ize

Meaning: to cause or become.

Examples:

  • Seize - to take hold of something forcibly and suddenly (5 letters, 14 points).
  • Optimize - to make the best or most effective use of resources (8 letters, 21 points).
  • Westernize - to make something conform with customs, practices, or ideals of the Western world (10 letters, 22 points).
  • Agonize - to suffer intense physical or mental pain (7 letters, 17 points).

For more, see words ending in “ise” and “ize” words.

-ment

Meaning: an action or result of.

Examples:

  • Judgement - the act of forming an opinion, belief, or decision about something or someone (9 letters, 20 points).
  • Fragment - a small, incomplete, or detached piece of something larger (8 letters, 14 points).
  • Testament - a formal written statement (9 letters, 11 points).
  • Management - the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources and activities to achieve a specific set of goals or objectives (10 letters, 15 points).

All “ment” words.

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-sion and -tion

Meaning: a state or quality.

Examples:

  • Inclusion - the action or state of including or being included within a group or structure (9 letters, 11 points).
  • Version - a particular form or variant of something (7 letters, 10 points).
  • Division - the act of separating or dividing something into parts (8 letters, 12 points).
  • Pixelation - the visual effect produces when individual pixels of an image/screen become noticeable (10 letters, 19 points).

Discover the full list of word ending in “sion” and ending in “tion”.

-ship

Meaning: a position held.

Examples:

  • Flagship - the most important, prominent, or best of something (8 letters, 17 points).
  • Worship - the act of showing adoration and devotion to a deity or an object of religious significance (7 letters, 15 points).
  • Relationship - the connection, association, or bond between people and things (11 letters, 17 points).
  • Ownership - the state of fact of possessing something (9 letters, 17 points).

View all words ending in “ship”.

Ship- suffix in Scrabble

-ness

Meaning: a state or quality.

Examples:

  • Weakness - the state or condition of lacking strength or being feeble (8 letters, 15 points).
  • Pureness - the quality or state of being pure (8 letters, 10 points).
  • Queerness - the state or quality of being strange, odd, or unconventional; also used to refer to LGBTQ+ identities or experiences (9 letters, 18 points).
  • Haziness - the characteristics of being unclear, foggy, or indistinct (8 letters, 20 points).

Every Scrabble word ending in “ness”.

-ism

Meaning: theory, act, or belief.

Examples:

  • Idolism - the worship or belief, sometimes excessive admiration, of idols or images (7 letters, 10 points).
  • Activism - vigorous campaigning to bring about social or political change (8 letters, 15 points).
  • Urbanism - a way of life associated with city living (8 letters, 12 points).
  • Opportunism - taking advantage of situations or circumstances for personal gain (11 letters, 17 points).

View the complete list of “ism” words.

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-ist

Meaning: a person.

Examples:

  • Florist - a person who trades or has a business selling flowers or plants (7 letters, 10 points).
  • Cyclist - a person who rides a bicycle (7 letters, 14 points).
  • Lobbyist - a person who seeks to influence legislators or government officials (8 letters, 15 points).
  • Modist - the absence of confidence in one (6 letters, 9 points).

All words ending in “ist”.

-ous

Meaning: full of.

Examples:

  • Hideous - extremely ugly or repulsive in appearance (7 letters, 11 points).
  • Zealous - showing great enthusiasm or passion for a cause or activity (7 letters, 16 points).
  • Joyous - full of joy or happiness (6 letters, 16 points).
  • Sequacious - following a leader or regular sequence (10 letters, 21 points).

See all “ous” words for Scrabble.

-al

Meaning: pertaining to.

Examples:

  • Frugal - to be careful or mindful of money (6 letters, 10 points).
  • Facial - beauty treatment or a regimen for the face (6 letters, 11 points).
  • Squeal - a high-pitched cry or sound (6 letters, 15 points).
  • Crucial - something of great importance (7 letters, 11 points).

See more words ending in “al” to play.

-ance and -ence

Meaning: an action or state.

Examples:

  • Sequence - something that follows a particular order or process (8 letters, 19 points).
  • Experience - a knowledge, skill, or understanding gained through doing or participation (10 letter, 21 points).
  • Variance - a state of being different or divergent (8 letters, 13 points).
  • Sixpence - a former British coin of small value (8 letters, 19 points).

View all words ending in “ance” and words ending in “ence”.

How to find more word suffixes

In addition to the words listed above, there are many more words ending with these common suffixes. We recommend you use our Scrabble Word Finder to discover more. These are great tools for matching specific letter combinations.

Hopefully we’ve convinced you today of the power suffixes have in Scrabble and given you some inspiration on what kinds of words can be played. Good luck applying these in your next Scrabble game and happy playing!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen Lunt is Word Checker's founder and primary content writer. He loves to share his experiences and knowledge of word games through writing and creating handy online tools for players to use.

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