Word Origin & History
suffix forming adjectives from nouns, "having qualities of, appropriate to, fitting," irregularly descended from O.E. -lic, from P.Gmc. *-liko- (cf. O.Fris. -lik, Du. -lijk, O.H.G. -lih, Ger. -lich, O.N. -ligr), related to *likom- "appearance, form" (cf. O.E. lich "corpse, body;" see
, which is a cognate; cf. also like
(adj.), with which it is identical).
adv. ending, from O.E. -lice, from P.Gmc. *-liko- (cf. O.Fris. -like, O.S. -liko, Du. -lijk, O.H.G. -licho, Ger. -lich, O.N. -liga, Goth. -leiko); see -ly
(1). Cognate with lich
, and identical with like
"It is curious that Teut[onic] uses 'body' for the adv. formation, while Rom[anic] uses 'mind,' e.g. F. constamment = L. constanti mente." [Weekley]
The modern English form emerged in late M.E., probably from influence of O.N. -liga.