See also: heit




From Middle High German -heit, from Old High German -heit, and ultimately from *haiduz(personality, character, manner, way).[1] Cognate with Dutch -heid, English -hood, Danish -hed.

Alternative formsEdit


  • IPA(key): /-ˌhaɪ̯t/, [ˌhaɪ̯t]


-heit f (plural -heiten)

  1. Converts an adjective into a noun and usually denotes an abstract quality of the adjectival root. It is often equivalent to the English suffixes -ty and -ness:
    schön(beautiful) + ‎-heit → ‎Schönheit(beauty)
    neu(new) + ‎-heit → ‎Neuheit(novelty)
  2. Converts concrete nouns into abstract nouns:
    Kind(child) + ‎-heit → ‎Kindheit(childhood)
    Christ(Christian) + ‎-heit → ‎Christenheit(Christendom)

Usage notesEdit

  • While -heit is the normal form of this suffix, it becomes -keit after certain adjectival suffixes. These are -bar, -ig, -isch, -lich, -sam. For example: nützlich(useful) + ‎-heit → ‎Nützlichkeit(utility).
  • Adjectives ending in -el and -er behave irregularly: eitel(vain) + ‎-heit → ‎Eitelkeit(vanity); but: dunkel(dark) + ‎-heit → ‎Dunkelheit(darkness).
  • Sometimes -ig- is added to the adjective and the suffix thus becomes -keit: müde(tired) + ‎-heit → ‎Müdigkeit(tiredness). This is the general rule with adjectives in -haft and -los: fehlerhaft(faulty) + ‎-heit → ‎Fehlerhaftigkeit(faultiness).

Derived termsEdit


  1. ^ “-heit” in: Friedrich Kluge, “Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache” , 22. Auflage, 1989, bearbeitet von Elmar Seebold, ISBN 3-11-006800-1.

See alsoEdit