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Suffixes & Derivation

Here you can look up the main suffixes (appart from declensions) which form Pali words and whose meaning is sometimes required for understanding some abstract ideas having no English equivalent.

The stem or base of a noun is that noun as it stands before any suffix has been added to it. In Pāli, almost every declinable stem can be traced back to a primary element called a Root. A root is a primitive element of the language incapable of any grammatical analysis, and expressing an abstract idea. This indefinite idea is developed out of the root and is made to ramify into a diversity of meanings, both abstract and concrete, by means of suffixes. The roots of the Pāli language, with slight variations in form, are common with those of Sanskrit and consequently with many of the roots of the lndo-European Languages.

Every true root is monosyllabic as: √nas, to perish; √bhā, to shine; √ruh, to grow; √pac, to cook. Roots which have more than one syllable are the result of (a) the union of a verbal prefix with the root itself, both having become inseparable in the expression of a particular idea; for instance: √saṅgam: to fight, =sam+√gam, lit, to come together, to close in upon; and (b) of reduplication as √jāgar, to be wakeful, from √gar to awake.

There are two great divisions of Derivation: (i) kita, or Primary. (ii) taddhita, or Secondary. Primary Derivatives are formed from the root itself and Secondary Derivatives from the Primary Derivatives. The student will readily understand that the root may be preceded by any prefix: sam+√gam+a=saṅgāma, assembly; pa+√vis, to enter+a=pavesa, entrance; anu+√sar to go, move, walk+a=anusara, following. The same remark applies to all the other suffixes.


Patronymics: a, āna, āyana, era, eyya, i, ika.

Possessive: aka, ika, imā, in=ī, ra, (ara, ira), so, ssī, mā(mat, mant), min=mī, va, vā, (vat, vant), vī=vin, ta, ina, la.

Group, collection, multitude: a, ika, ka, tā.

State of, quality, abstract idea: bya, eyya, iya, tā, tta, ttana, ta.

Relation (relating to): a, i, ika, ima, kiya.

It will be remarked that some suffixes are merely made up of a principal one which has taken the vowel a or i or u before it. Such are: aka, ika from ka; aya, iya, from ya; ara, ira, ura from ra; ila from la.


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-a: By means of this suffix are formed an extremely large number of derivatives. It forms nouns, (substantive and adjective) showing:

1) possession of: paññā, wisdom+a=pañño, possessing wisdom, wise, a wise man; saddhā, faith +a=saddho, one who has faith, believing, faithful, a believer.

2) belonging to: vidisā(a foreign country) +a=vediso belonging to a foreign country, a foreigner; magadhā(Southern Bihar) +a=māgadho, belonging to, born in, Magadhā.

3) a collection of: kapota, a dove pigeon +a=kāpoto a group of doves, or, relating to doves; mayūra a peacock+a=māyūro, a group of peacocks; adj., belonging to, relating to peacocks.

4) study, knowledge of, knowing: nimitta, an omen+a=nemitto, a knower of omens, a fortune teller; veyyā karaṇaṃ, exegesis, grammar+a=veyyākaraṇo, a grammarian; muhutta, a while+a=mohutto, one who studies for a while only; also: relating to a moment, momentary.

5) action: √pac, to cook+a=pāka, the act of cooking; √caj, to forsake+a=cāga, forsaking, abandonment; √bhaj, to divide+a=bhāga, dividing; √kam, to love+a=kāma, love.

6) the doer or agent: √car, to roam+a=cāra and cara, a spy; √har, to take, captivate,+a=hara, the Captivator, a name of Shiva; √kar, to do, make+a=kara, that which does, the hand; also kāra, a doer, maker.

7) patronymics: the Masc. denotes the son of, the Fem., the daughter of and the Neuter the consanguinity or relation of, vasiṭṭha+a=vāsiṭṭho, the son of, vāsiṭṭhī, the daughter of, vāsiṭṭhaṃ, the relation of Vasiṭṭha. So: from visamitta+a=vesamitto, vesamitta, vesamittaṃ; manu+a=mānavo, mānavī, mānavaṃ the son, daughter or relation of Manu.

8) abstract nouns of action: √kar+a=kara, action, making; √kam to step, proceed+a=kama, step, succession, order; √kamp, to shake+a=kampa, shaking, trembling; √yuj, to join+a=yoga, joining.

9) that which is dyed with: kasāva, a reddish-yellow dye+a=kāsāvo, reddish-yellow, yellow; kāsāvaṃ, a monk's robe (which is dyed with such dye). So: haliddā, turmeric+a=hāliddo, yellow, dyed with turmeric.

10) the flesh of: sūkara, a pig+a=sokaraṃ pork; mahisa, buffalo+a=māhisaṃ, buffalo's flesh. As adj.=sokaro, relating to pigs; māhiso, relating to buffaloes.

11) the locality in which something or some one is or exists: sakuṇa, a bird+a=sākuṇaṃ, the place wherein birds roost or resort to; udumbara, a fig-tree+a=odumbaraṃ, a place where fig-trees grow.

-abha: Used to form the names of some animals; the derivation is obscure. kalabha, or kaḷabha, a young elephant, from √kal, to drive, to sound; usabha, a bull from √us, to go, flow, push; sarabha, a fabulous eight-legged kind of deer, from √sar, to injure, break, tear; karabha, a camel, from √kar, to do.

-aka: is said to denote the property of: manussa, a man+a=manussakaṃ, that which belongs to man, the property of man, human (see -ka).

It also forms a numerous class of action-nouns and adjectives: √kar, to make, do+aka=karaka, making, causing or maker, doer; √gah, to take, receive+aha=gahaka, taking, receiving, a receiver: sometimes a -y is inserted between aka and a root ending in a vowel, especially long ā: √dā, to give +aka=dāyaka, a giver.

Remark: The feminine of these derivatives is generally in kā or ikā.

-ala: forming a few nouns of doubtful derivation from, it is said, the roots: √paṭ, to split, slit; √kus, to heap, bring together, cut; √kal, to drive, sound, throw, etc.; paṭala, covering, membrane, roof; kusala, that which is capable of cutting sin, meritorious act. These nouns are neuter.

-ālu: (This is suffix lu, preceded by ā: see -lu); denotes the tendency, and forms some past participial adj. dayā, sympathy, compassion +ālu=dayālu, compassionate; abhijjhā, covetousness +alu=abhijjhālu, covetous, whose tendency is to be covetous; sīta, cold+ālu sītālu, chilled, cold.

-ana: this suffix forms an immense number of derivative nouns and adjectives.

Nouns: √pac, to cook +ana=pacanaṃ, the cooking; √gah, to take +ana=gahaṅaṃ, the seizing, taking; √ṭhā, to stand +ana=ṭhānaṃ, a place.

Adjectives: pa+√nud, to push, move +ana=panudano, removing, dispelling; √ghus, to sound +ana=ghosano, sounding; √kudh, to be angry +ana=kodhano, angry.

-āna: forms patronymics: Kacca (a proper name)+āna=kaccāno, kaccānī, kacccānaṃ, the son, daughter, offspring of Kacca;

-āṇa: forms very few derivatives; kalya, and by assimilation kalla, healthy, remembering, thinking of, +āṇa=kalyāṇo, kallāṇo, happy, blessed with health, good.

-as: forms a not very large, but important class of words. √vac, to say, speak +as=vacas (vaco), speech, word; √tij, to be sharp +as=tejas (tejo), sharpness, splendour.

-āvi: (= -vi) is used to form participles.

-aya: for this, see -ya.

-āyana: forms patronymics: kacca+āyana=kaccāyano, kacāyanī, kaccāyanaṃ, the son, etc, of Kacca: vaccha+āyana=vacchāyano, vacchāyānī, vacchāyanaṃ, the son, etc, of Vaccha.


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-bhū: (√bhū, to be), has generally the meaning denoted by the verb itself: abhi+bhū=abhibhū, mastering, overcoming, a conqueror (abhibhavi, to overcome); vi+bhū=vibhu, arising, expanding, ruler, lord (vibhavati, to arise, expand); sam+bhū=sambhū, offspring, progeny; sambhavati, to be produced, to spring from.

-bya: is said to denote 'the state of': dāsa, a slave +bya=dāsabyaṃ, the state of being a slave, slavery.


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-da: (√dā, to give, bestow); amata, imortality +da=amatado, he who bestows or confers immortality, conferring immortality; lokahita, the world's welfare +da=lokahitado, bestowing, or wishing for, the world's welfare.


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-era: patronymics: the final vowel of the word is elided. vidhava+era=vedhavera, the son of Vidhava; naḷika+era=naḷikero, the son of Naḷika; samaṅa, a monk+era=sāmaṇera, the son,viz. the disciple of the monk, a novice.


1) The state or nature of: alasa, idle +eyya=ālaseyyaṃ idleness; sāpateyyaṃ, property (lit., one's own property)=sa, own +pati, master, owner+eyya (note the elision of i in pati).

2) patronymics: vinata+eyya=venateyyo, the son of Vinata; mālī, a gardener +eyya=māleyya, the gardener's son.

3) denotes the nature of, the origin, the place where a thing is made, or a person or animal reared up. Pabbateyya, whose place or abode is in the mountain, belonging to mountains=pabbata +eyya; suci, purity +eyya=soceyyaṃ, the state of him who is pure, also, purification; kula, family+eyya=koleyyo, belonging to, reared up in a (noble) family, of good family; bārāṇasī, Benares +eyya=bārāṇaseyyaṃ; that which is made in Benares, lit., that the origin of which is in Benares.

4) fitness, worthiness


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-ga: (√gam to go); pāra, the further shore +ga=parago, gone to the further shore, viz. to Nirvana; kula, family +upa, near +ga=kulupago, one who goes near a family, a family adviser.

-gha: (√ghan=han) to strike, kill; paṭi, back, in return +gha=paṭigho, hatred.

-gū: (a collateral form of √gam); addhā, distance +gū=addhagū, going to a distance, a traveller; pāra +gū=pāragū, as above, pārago.


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-i: forms a large class of derivative.

Masc.: √ku, to sound sing+i=kavi, one who sings=a poet; √mun=man to think+i=muni, one who thinks=a sage.

Fem. √lip, to smear, rub+i=lipi, a rubbing over, writing; √ruc, to shine, to please+i=ruci, light, pleasure.

Neut.: akkhi, eye; aggi, fire, aṭṭhi, bone, and a few others, of very doubtful derivation. Adj. √suc, to beam, glow, burn+i=suci, beaming, clear, pure.

By means of this suffix is formed from √dhā, to bear, hold, a derivative: dhi, which forms many compounds, mostly masculine: sam+dhi=sandhi, connection, union (in grammar=euphony); udadhi, the ocean=uda, water+dhi, holding (uda+√dhā+i); others are: nidhi, a receptacle (ni+√dhā+i); paridhi, circle, halo (pari+√dhā+i).

Similarly, from, √dā to give with prefix ā, we obtain: ādi (=ā+√dā+i)=and so forth, and so on, etc, lit.=beginning. The word ādi is much used at the end of compounds.

it forms a few patronymics, from nouns in a: duna+i=doni, the son of Duna; anuruddhā+i=Anuruddhi, the son of Anuruddhā; jinadattha+i=jinadatthi, the son of Jinadattha.

: is used after the cardinals from 11 upwards to form ordinals expressing the day of the month, but also mere ordinals sometimes: ekādasa, 11 +ī=ekādasī, the 11th day or simply, the 11th; catuddasa, 14 +ī=catuddasī, the 14th day, or the 14th.

-ika: is of very wide application and is added after nouns and adjectives. It denotes:

1) Patronymics: nādaputta+ika=nādaputtiko, the son of Nadiputta; jinadattha+ika=jinadatthiko, the son of Jinadattha.

2) Living by means of: nāvā, a boat+ika=nāviko, one who goes or lives by means of a boat=a boatman; balisa, a fish-hook +ika=bālisiko, a fisherman; vetana, wages +ika=vetaniko, one who lives upon wages, a labourer.

3) Going by means of: pada, the foot +ika=pādiko, one who goes with his feet, a pedestrian; sakaṭa, a cart +ika=sākaṭiko, one who goes in a cart.

4) Relating to: samudda, the sea +ika=sāmuddiko, relating to the sea, marine; sakaṭa, cart, sākaṭiko, relating to carts.

5) Playing upon: vīṇā, a lute, veṅiko, playing upon a lute, lute player (27, ii, Remark 2); bheri, a drum, bheriko, a drummer, or, relating to a drum.

6) Mixed with: tela, oil, telikaṃ, that which is mixed with oil; oily; dadhi, curds, dadhikaṃ, that which is mixed with curds, and dadhiko, mixed with or relating to curds.

7) Making, the maker: tela, oil, teliko, an oil manufacturer.

8) Connected with: dvāra, a door, dvāriko, one who is connected with a door, a door-keeper.

9) Carrying upon: khanda, the shoulder, khandiko, who carries on the shoulder; aṅguli, finger, aṅguliko, who carries on the finger.

10) Born in or belonging to a place, or living in a place: sāvatthi, sāvatthiko, of, born in, or, living in Sāvatthi; kapilavatthu, kapilavatthiko, of, born, in, or, living in Kapilavatthu.

11) Studying, learning: vinaya, the Discipline, venayiko, one who studies the vinaya; suttanta, a discourse (of the Buddha), suttantiko, one who studies, or knows Discourses, viz., the Suttapiṭaka.

12) That which is performed by: mānasa, the mind, mānasiko, mental, and mānasikaṃ, the act performed by mind; sarira, the body, sārīriko, bodily, corporeal, sārīrikaṃ, the act performed by the body.

13) That which is bartered for: suvaṇṇa, gold, sovaṇṇikaṃ, that which is bartered for gold; sovaṇṇiko, relating to gold; vattha, cloth, vatthikaṃ, that which is exchanged for cloth; vatthiko, relating to cloth.

14) Possession: daṇḍo, a staff, daṇḍiko, one who has a staff, a mendicant; mālā wreath, māliko, one having a wreath; puttiko, who has sons.

15) A collection, herd, group: kedāra, a field, kedārikaṃ, a collection of fields; hatthi, elephant, hatthikaṃ, herd of elephants.

16) Measure: kumbha, a pot, kumbhiko, containing a big measure, viz., as much as a pot; kumbhikaṃ, that which is contained in a pot.


1) Denotes position or direction in space or time; it also shows relation: pacchā, behind, western, pacchimo hindermost, western; anta, limit, end; antimo, last, final. So, majjhimo, middling, from majjha, middle.

2) Forms a limited number of possessive adj.: putta, son, puttimā, who has sons; papā, evil, sin, pāpimā sinful, evil.

-in: (= )

1) This forms a very great number of derivatives whose stem ends in in, and the Nom. Sing. ī. √gah, to take, receive+in=gāhin (gāhi), taking, catching; √kra+in=kārin (kārī), doing; pāpakārī, a sinner: √yā, to go, yāyin (yāyī), going; nagarayāyī, going to the town; √dā, to give, dāyin, (dāyī), giving, a giver.

2) Forms a numerous class of possessive adj; daṇḍa, a staff, daṇḍī, possessed of a staff; manta, design, plan, mantī, one replete with plans, a minister, adviser; pāpa, evil+in=pāpī, having evil, evil.


1) A few possessive adj.; mala, dirt, taint+ina=malina, dirty, tainted.

2) A few nouns are formed by this suffix; there is no guṇa: √sup, to sleep+ina =supinaṃ (Neut.), a dream, sleep.

-issika: This is the sign of the Superlative.

-itta: is said to express multitude: √vad, to speak, to play (music)+itta=vādittaṃ, the multitude of those that play music, an orchestra. This suffix and its derivatives are incomprehensible.

-iṭṭha: suffix used for the comparison of adjectives


1) suffix used for the comparison of adjectives

2) Forms a few abstract nouns; issara, lord, chief+iya=issariyaṃ, dominion; alasa, lazy, ālasiyaṃ, idleness.


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-ja: (√jā, jan, to be born, produced): paṅka, mud +ja=paṅkaja, produced in the mud, a lotus; aṅda, an egg +ja=aṅdaja, born from an egg=a bird.

-ji: (√ji, to conquer); māra, the enemy of Buddha +ji=māraji, conqueror of Mara.


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1) forms agent-nouns and adjectives: √vad, to speak+ka=vādaka, one who speaks, a musician; playing (adj.); √dah, to burn+ka=dāhaka, burning (adj.). √sukh (Sansk. cus)+ka=sukkha, dry, dried up; √thu (Sansk. stu) to dribble, drop+ka=thoka, a little, ka often takes a connecting vowel i or u before a root, and forms the suffixes -ika, -uka.

2) is much used to form adjectives, it also forms a certain number of nouns which, however, are adjectives used as substantives: rakkhā, protection +ka=rakkhako, protecting, a guard; rakkhana, defence +ka=rakkhanako, a guard; ramaṇeyya, pleasurable +ka=rāmaṇeyyako, delightful, rāmaṇeyyakaṃ, delightfulness.

3) Collection, group; rājaputta, prince +ka=rājaputtaka, a group or band of princes; manussa, man +ka=mānussakaṃ, an assembly or group of men.

4) Diminutives, with, sometimes, a certain amount of contempt implied; pāda, foot, pādako, a small foot; rāja, king, rājako, a princeling; putta, son, puttako, a little son; luddha, hunter, luddhako, a young hunter.

5) Not seldom, ka adds nothing whatever to the primary meaning of the word; kumāra, child, young prince +ka=kumārako; nava, young, junior +ka=navaka.

6) It is much used after compounds, above all, after bahubbīhī, to form poseessives, but often also redundantly.

7) The use of ka after numerals also occurs.

-kata: is considered as a suffix by some grammarians; It is used with prefixes ni+kaṭa=nikaṭa, near; vi+kaṭa=vikaṭa, changed; pa+kaṭa=pākaṭa, evident, public, clear; sam+kaṭa=saṅkaṭa, narrow. It will be remarked that kaṭa forms adjectives differing very little or even not at all from the meaning of the suffix to which it is added. It is probably a form of kata, from √kar, to do, make.

-kha: (√khā, a collateral form of √khan, to dig) pari, round +kha=parikha, that which is dug all round=a moat.

-kiya: Forms adj. denoting relation, connection (it is made up, no doubt, of ka+iya): Andha, the Andhra country +kiya=andhakiya, relating or belonging to the Andhra country; jāti, birth +kiya=jātikiya, relating to birth, congenital.


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-la: forms a few adj. and nouns; it is often preceded by the vowels: i, and u: bahu, many +la=bahulo, abundant; vācā, word +la=vācālo, talkative, garrulous; phena, froth=phenila, frothy, the soap plant, soap; mātā, mother+ula=mātulo, maternal uncle; vaṭṭa, a circle +ula=vaṭṭulo, circular; kumbhī, a pot, jar +la=kumbhīlo, a crocodile, one who has (a belly like) a jar.
-la is another form of -ra; r and l often interchange.


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-ma: forms some abstract nouns, agent-nouns, and some adjectives: √bhī, to fear, be afraid of +ma=bhīma, terrible, fearful; √ghar (sansk. ghr) to be warm, to glow+ma=gharma=ghamma, heat, warmth; √thu, to praise, thoma, praise; √dhū, to shake, move hither and thither+ma=dhūma smoke. This suffix, in Pāli, becomes nearly confounded with the next: -man.

-mā: expresses possession of the quality or state indicated by the noun to which it is affixed: sati, mindfulness+mā=satimā, possessed of mindfulness, viz., mindful; hetu, cause+mā=hetumā, having a cause, causal.

-man: forms action nouns: √dhar; to hold, bear+man=dhammo, dhammaṃ, nature, characteristic, duty, the Law; √kar+man=kammaṃ, action, karma, √bhī to fear+man=bhemo, fearful, terrible; √khi, to destroy, make an end of+ma=khemo, secure, peaceful, khemaṃ, safety, happiness. Most of the derivatives from man, have migrated to the class of those formed by the last suffix (-ma.).

-maya: with this suffix are formed adjectives denoting made of, consisting of: suvaṇṇa, gold +maya=suvaṇṇamaya, made of gold, golden; rajata, silver +maya=rajatamaya, made of silver.

-min: This forms a few possessive adjectives; go, cow +min=gomin, (gomī) possessing oxen, cattle, a possessor of cattle; sa, own +min=samin (sāmī) owner, master, lord.


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-ni: from this we obtain but a few nouns. √hā, to quit, forsake+ni=hāni, abandonment, loss, decay; √yu, to fasten, to unite+ni=yoni, womb, origin, a form of existence.

-nu: forms a few words, some abstract and some concrete: √bhā. to shine, to be bright+nu=bhānu, beam, light, the sun; √dhe, to drink+nu=dhenu, yielding milk, a milk-cow.


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-pa: (√pā, to drink); pada, a foot +pa=pādapo, drinking by the foot (root), a tree; (√pā, to guard, keep); go, cow +pa=gopo, cowkeeper.


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-ra: From this are made a few adjectives. It is often preceded by the vowels a and i. madhu, honey+ra=madhura, sweet, sweetness; sikhā, a peak +ra=sikhāra, having a peak, peaked, a mountain; susa, empty, hole +(i)ra=susira, full of holes; kamma, act, work +ara=kammāro, having or doing work, an artificer, smith.


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-so: From this are made a few adjectives; medhā, wisdom +so=medhāso having wisdom, wise; loma, hair +so=lomaso, hairy.

-(s)si: Used to form adjectives of possession.

-: forms a few concrete nouns: √dū, to go far, to a certain distance+ta=duta, messenger; √sū to impel, to set in motion+ta=sūta, a charioteer; √su to go, pass+ta=sota, a stream; √su, to hear+tar:sota, the ear.


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1) This suffix forms a pretty large number of agent-nouns; √mā, to measure, mete out (food, etc.)+tā=matā, mother; √vad, to speak, say+tā=vattā, one who says, tells, a speaker.

2) This suffix forms a numerous class of feminine abstract nouns from adjectives and nouns, and expresses the state, nature or quality of being that which is denoted by the adj. or noun. lahu, light +tā=lahutā, lightness; sāra, pith, marrow +tā=sāratā, essence, strength; ati (prefix) very great +sūra, a hero +tā=atisūratā great heroism.

3) Denotes multitude, collection: jana, person, man +tā=janatā, a multitude of persons, folk, people; gāma, village +tā=gāmatā, a collection of villages.

-tama: is the suffix used in forming the Superlative.

-tana: - This suffix forms, from adverbs, a few adjectives: svā (sve, suve), tomorrow +tana=svātano, of tomorrow, belonging to tomorrow; sanaṃ, of old, always+tana=sanantano, ancient, old, perpetual; nū, now +tana=nūtano fresh, new.

-tara: - is the suffix used in forming the comparative.

-tha: The derivatives from this are not very numerous: √gā, to sing+tha=gāthā, a song, stanza, verse; √tar, to cross+tha=titthaṃ, ford, landing place (with connecting i).

-thaṃ: makes adverbs from pronominal stems.

-ti: This forms a very numerous class of action nouns, Fem., agent-nouns, and a limited number of adjectives. Fem: √bhaj, to divide+ti=bhatti(=bhakti), division; √kitt, to praise+ti=kitti (with one t dropped), praise; √gam, go+ti=gati, a going, journey. From √muc, mutti, deliverance; from √man, to think, mati, thought, etc. Adj.: √ṭhā, stand, last+ti=ṭhiti, lasting; √pad, to go, step+ti=patti, going, a foot soldier.

-t(r)a: , ta (tran, ta)- forms a large number of derivatives chiefly denoting the agent, and concrete nouns: √chad, to cover over+tra, ta=chatraṃ, chattaṃ, an umbrella (in chatra d has been dropped to avoid the collocation of three consonants; in chatta it is assimilated); √gā (a collateral form of √gaṃ), to move+tra, ta=gattaṃ, limb; √nī, to lead+tra, ta=netraṃ, nettaṃ, the eye, that which leads.

-tta: expresses the state, nature or quality of being that which is denoted by the adj. or noun: puthujjana, a common man +tta=puthujjanattaṃ, the state of being a common man; buddha, a buddha +tta=buddhattaṃ, Buddhahood; atthi he is +tta=atthittaṃ the state of "he is", existence.

-ttana: Used in the same sense as -tta, puthujjana +ttana=puthujjanattanaṃ, state of being a common man; vedanā, sensation +ttana =vedanattanaṃ, sensitiveness.

-tya: (=cca) forms a few adjectives from indeclinables; ni, in +cca=nicca, inward, inmate, own, eternal, perpetual; amā, with, at home +cca=amacco, inmate, minister.


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: forms some adj. and nouns; √vid, to know+ū=vidū, knowing; vi+√ñā, to know+ū=viññū, knowing.

-uka: forms a few nouns and adj. denoting the agent; √pad, to tread, step+uka=pāduka, a shoe; √kar+uka=kāruka, a maker, artisan.

-una: forms a few derivatives. √tar, to cross, pass away+una=taruṇā, just begun, young, fresh, √kar, to love, pity+una=karunā, compassion; √pis, to grind, hurt, destroy+una=pisuno (adj.), backbiting, malicious; a tale-bearer.


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-vā: (vant) This suffix makes a very large class of possessive adjectives. It is similar in character to -mā (mant), and expresses possession of the quality or state indicated by the noun to which it is affixed: māna, pride+vā=mānavā, having pride, viz, proud. noticed (465).

vī=vin-: Used to form adjectives of possession. tapas (tapo), austerity, devotion+ vī=tapassī (tapasvi), austere, a hermit; yasas (yaso), fame +vī=yasassī (yasasvi), renowned, famous. Note that initial v of vī is assimilated to final s, thus giving ssī.


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1) forms nouns, most of them abstract in meaning. √rāj, rule+ya=rajjaṃ, kingship, kingdom; √vaj, to avoid+ya=vajjaṃ, a fault, what is to be avoided; √yuj, to yoke, harness+ya=yogaṃ, a carriage, conveyance.

2) forms a very large class of nouns, mostly Neuter abstract. Guṇa takes place in most cases, and assimilation is regular. alasa, lazy +ya=ālasyaṃ, ālassaṃ, laziness; kusala, skilful +ya=kosallaṃ, skill, mastery; paṇḍita, learned, clever +ya=paṇḍiccaṃ, learning, scholarship; vipula, broad, large +ya=vepullaṃ development; samāna, equal, same +ya=samañño common, general; dakkhiṇa, affable +ya=dakkhiñño, affable, kind; dakkhiññaṃ affability, kindness.


Bodhi leaf

Adapted from A Practical Grammar of the Pāli Language by Charles Duroiselle