-less

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A homeless man, 2008.

-less is an English adjective suffix. It's a negative suffix meaning "lack of"; for example careless means "lack of care".

It's frequently used[1]

Adjectives ending -less can generally be nominalised by adding -ness, e.g. homeless --> homelessness. They can be used unchanged as nominalised adjectives, e.g. the homeless suffer deprivations. Adverb formation is achieved by adding -ly, e.g. careless-->carelessly.

The antonym of -less is -ful, though only certain words have this e.g. careless <> careful, but homeless <> *homeful.

This is generally unstressed and is pronouned /ləs/, e.g. homeless is /ˈhəʊmləs/ - unless this is being stressed for effect, e.g. she wasn't careful - in fact she was completely careLESS.

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