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-hood OE. -hād = OS. -hēd, (O)HG. -heit, orig, a Gmc. independent sb. meaning ‘person’, ‘sex’, ‘condition, rank’, ‘quality’, OE. hād, OS. hēd, OHG. heit, ON. heiðr (honour, worth), Goth. haidus (kind, manner), rel. to ON. heið bright sky. Skr. ketú- brightness, keta- form, shape, sign. This suffix may be added freely to most sbs. denoting a person or a concrete thing to express its condition or state, as OE. ċildhād childhood, prēosthād priesthood; it lends itself readily to nonce-formations, e.g. doghood, soulhood. It has been added to a few adjs., e.g. falsehood, hardihood, likelihood, which superseded formations with the parallel -HEAD. Where comps. in -head and -hood survive side by side, as in godhead and -hood, maidenhead and -hood, there is differentiation of meaning. A few comps. have developed particularized or semi-concrete meanings, as brotherhood, knighthood, neighbourhood.

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