I have been researching online for the suffix nimity in the English words equanimity and unanimity but with no clear results.

I have found the suffix ity but couldn't find the whole suffix nimity.

Can you please explain the meaning of nimity in such words, and if this is not a suffix can you explain why and which is the suffix in this cases?

  • 13
    There is no suffix "nimity". The words divide as "equ-anim-ity" and "un-anim-ity": "equ-" as in "equal" or "equilibrium," "anim" as in "animate" or "animal", "un-" as in "unity" or "unique".
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 13:17
  • All of this especially etymological info about the false parsing is true, but it's also true that English has a propensity for stress-foot parsing in morphology. See for example -holic constructions.
    – user6726
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 16:19

2 Answers 2


Synchronically, unanimity has one suffix, -ity:

unanimous - unanimity

equanimous - equanimity

Diachronically, it goes back to the Latin noun, animus 'mind' and suffix 'tas.'


The suffix you need to look at is -ity . In equanimity, -ity is the suffix; -nimity is not a suffix.

suffix forming abstract nouns from adjectives, meaning "condition or quality of being ______," from Middle English -ite, from Old French -ité and directly from Latin -itatem (nominative -itas), suffix denoting state or condition, composed of connective -i- + -tas (see -ty (2)).

  • Roughly, the word in -ity usually means the quality of being what the adjective describes, or concretely an instance of the quality, or collectively all the instances; & the word in -ism means the disposition, or collectively all those who feel it. [Fowler]


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