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For example, a job that demands a lot of effort is effort-***? Or a program costs lots of money is money-***? Or a task needs high patience is patience-***?

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As a joke, we'll sometimes add the suffix -vore to something that demands a lot. E.g., the job is a chronovore, it eats up all your time. –  JCooper Mar 23 '11 at 3:48
    
@JCooper: I think this helps! May be I can use it in a situation supposed to be humorous. Thanks. –  trVoldemort Mar 23 '11 at 4:31
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@trVoldemort: use it sparingly. -vore tacked onto the wrong words -- ones that don't seem Greek-rooted -- can just look stupid. I wouldn't use "moneyvore", for instance, because it just looks and sounds wrong. –  user1579 Mar 23 '11 at 14:09
    
I like it, @JCooper. Maybe I can start a Twitter trend out of this :P –  Nick Bedford Mar 24 '11 at 0:41
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@Rhodri It's true that some things sound better than others. You can also add -ivorous to better effect in some cases. "Moneyvorous" would be reasonable, if a little silly---but it's supposed to be funny. If you're going all-out "pecunivorous" would probably be more correct for that case. –  JCooper Mar 24 '11 at 1:32

7 Answers 7

up vote 13 down vote accepted

-Intensive would be one of those. The pertinent definition, according to the Oxford Dictionaries is

concentrating on or making much use of a specified thing

Thus, labor-intensive, cost-intensive, etc. I'm not sure this would work for patience, though!

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You might try "-intensive", at least with regards to effort.

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Some nouns can take the suffix -some to indicate propensity or demand. Examples include:

  • Bothersome
  • Worrisome
  • Winsome
  • Troublesome
  • Fearsome
  • Loathsome
  • Lonesome

Other suffixes with a similar meaning are -ful, -ive, and -ly. These tend to describe a property of an object more than describing a demand for something. In the three examples given in the question, none take on any of these suffixes. However, you could replace money--- with costly, effort--- with intensive, and patience--- with peaceful. These aren't exactly the same, but they're pretty close.

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You could say:

effort intensive

money hungry

time consuming

resource draining

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Something that absorbs a lot of a given commodity is often referred to as a sink.

For example

A project which absorbs a lot of my time could be referred to as a time sink.

World of Warcraft has been referred to as a life-sink.

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I don't think there's a single suffix that would fit the examples.

  • A job that demands a lot of effort is 'hard' or 'demanding' or 'exhausting' or ...
  • A program that costs a lot of money is 'expensive'.
  • A task that requires a lot of patience is 'exasperating' or 'demanding' or ...
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Sorry, but what I meant is not a word, but a suffix, added after the noun. –  trVoldemort Mar 23 '11 at 2:42
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@trVoldemort: I know - and I said I do not think there is a single suffix that fits the bill, though I'll concede that 'intensive' is likely as good as it gets. –  Jonathan Leffler Mar 23 '11 at 3:12

I would use 'sapping'

money-sapping hobby

time-sapping

Sapping is the action of extracting sap from a tree, so these things sap your energy, time, money, etc.

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