from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- suffix Action; process; practice: terrorism.
- suffix Characteristic behavior or quality: heroism.
- suffix State; condition; quality: pauperism.
- suffix State or condition resulting from an excess of something specified: strychninism.
- suffix Distinctive or characteristic trait: Latinism.
- suffix Doctrine; theory; system of principles: pacifism.
- suffix An attitude of prejudice against a given group: racism.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- suffix forming nouns on action or process or result based on the accompanying verb in -ize
- suffix forming the name of a system, school of thought or theory based on the name of its subject or object or alternatively on the name of its founder ((when de-capitalized, these overlap with the generic "doctrines" sense below, e.g. Liberalism vs. liberalism):).
- suffix a tendency of behaviour, action or opinion belonging to a class or group of persons; the result of a doctrine, ideology, principle, or lack thereof
- suffix a peculiarity or characteristic of language
- suffix an ideology expressing belief in the superiority of a certain class within the concept expressed by the root word ((based on a late 20th-century narrowing of the "terms for a doctrine" sense):)
- suffix A condition or syndrome caused by or associated with a specific type of organism
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- A suffix indicating an act, a process, the result of an act or a process, a state; also, a characteristic (as a theory, doctrine, idiom, etc.).
Middle English -isme, from Old French, from Latin -ismus, from Greek -ismos, n. suff.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ultimately from either Ancient Greek -ισμός (-ismos), a suffix that forms abstract nouns of action, state, condition, doctrine; from stem of verbs in -ιζειν (-izein) (whence English -ize), or from the related suffix Ancient Greek -ισμα (-isma), which more specifically expressed a finished act or thing done. (Wiktionary)