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.

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) → Schönheit ‎(beauty)
    neu ‎(new) → Neuheit ‎(novelty)
  2. Converts concrete nouns into abstract nouns:
    Kind ‎(child) → Kindheit ‎(childhood)
    Christ ‎(Christian) → 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) → Nützlichkeit ‎(utility).
  • Adjectives ending in -el and -er behave irregularly: eitel ‎(vain) → Eitelkeit ‎(vanity); but: dunkel ‎(dark) → Dunkelheit ‎(darkness).
  • Sometimes -ig- is added to the adjective and the suffix thus becomes -keit: müde ‎(tired) → Müdigkeit ‎(tiredness). This is the general rule with adjectives in -haft and -los: fehlerhaft ‎(faulty) → 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