a native English suffix formerly used in the formation of adjectives: quarrelsome; burdensome.

Middle English; Old English -sum; akin to Gothic -sama, German -sam; see same

Dictionary.com Unabridged


a collective suffix used with numerals: twosome; threesome.

Middle English -sum, Old English sum; special use of some (pronoun)


a combining form meaning “body,” used in the formation of compound words: chromosome.
Also, -soma.

< Greek sôma body; see soma1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To -some
World English Dictionary
suffix forming adjectives
characterized by; tending to: awesome; tiresome
[Old English -sum; related to Gothic -sama, German -sam]

suffix forming nouns
indicating a group of a specified number of members: threesome
[Old English sum, special use of some (determiner)]

-some3 (-səʊm)
n combining form
a body: chromosome
[from Greek sōma body]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

as a suffix forming adjectives, it represents O.E. -sum (see some; cf. O.Fris. -sum, Ger. -sam, O.N. -samr), related to sama "same." As a suffix added to numerals meaning "a group of that number" (cf. twosome) it represents O.E. sum "some," used after the genitive plural (cf.
sixa sum "six-some"), the inflection disappearing in M.E. Use of some with a number meaning "approximately" also was in O.E.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

-some suff.

  1. Body: centrosome.

  2. Chromosome: autosome.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature