Suffix -WISE

Hello English learners. Welcome to a new lesson. We are going to look at different words using the suffix -wise. Very often, the suffix means “in the direction of” (clockwise), but in some other cases it means “speaking of” or “related to” (foodwise).

Let’s look at some vocabulary words using the prefix -wise:

  • Clockwise
  • Likewise
  • Otherwise
  • Lengthwise
  • Crosswise
  • Streetwise
  • Healthwise
  • Foodwise
  • Weather-wise
  • Moneywise

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If something is clockwise, it is moving in the same direction as the hands of a clock. You will often hear the word anticlockwise (opposite of clockwise) or counterclockwise (American version of anticlockwise).

  • The children were moving clockwise around the room.
  • Simon turned the key in a clockwise direction.
  • The car motor was rotating in an anticlockwise direction.
suffix -wise
Suffix -wise


If something is likewise, it is in the same or similar way.

  • The teacher tasted the soup and told the children to do likewise.
  • I always do my homework right after school and I advise you to do likewise.


We can use otherwise to say what the result will be if things were different.

  • You’d better leave now; otherwise, your parents will be worried.
  • You should fix your car; otherwise, you might have an accident.
  • I’m afraid I won’t be able to join you for dinner on Saturday, I’m otherwise engaged.


If something is lengthwise, it is in the direction of a length.

  • Mary cut the cloth lengthwise and prepared the thread and needle.
  • Cut the courgette lengthwise and lay it in the oiled dish.


Something is crosswise if it is diagonally across something.

  • Half the aubergine crosswise and fill it with the stuffing.
  • You should fold the fabric crosswise to fit the pattern.
suffix -wise
Suffix -wise


A streetwise person knows how to deal with the dangers and difficulties of city life.

  • Martin was a streetwise guy who knew how to take care of himself in a big city.
  • Children nowadays seem to be more streetwise than we used to.


If something is healthwise, it is related to health.

  • Healthwise, avoid staying out for long during the day because of the heatwave.


Foodwise means regarding food.

  • While she was married to a chef, Fiona had a great life, foodwise.


Someone who is weather-wise is experienced and skilled in predicting the weather.

  • Living all his life in that area, Mark was a weather-wise man.


If something is moneywise, it is related to money.

  • Moneywise, Gwen was much more stable than ten years ago when she was a student.

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Suffix -WISE
Suffix -WISE

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