I am wondering what the suffix -fare means.

I've seen a few words that possibly have this suffix, but I couldn't find a thing in common among them.

There are some words:

- warfare
- airfare
- fanfare

Since fare is the money for a ticket in a vehicle, airfare probably means the fare we pay for an aircraft ticket. This logic can't be applied to warfare, which is the act of war, and fanfare, which is a piece of music.

So, we can't say that the suffix -fare relates to the noun, can we?

  • 3
    First you should check the origin of these words to see if it really is a suffix. In the case of fanfare, is isn't.
    – user3169
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


While these three words all end in -fare, they actually all differ in their construction.

Warfare is the only one which uses -fare as a suffix. The -fare suffix comes from the Middle English fare, meaning passage or journey. Thus, the combination of war and -fare implies a meaning along the lines of "the passage of war", which roughly lines up with the current definition.

Airfare, meanwhile, I would argue, is not the word air with the suffix -fare, but rather the word fare with the prefix air-. This is because we are using air- to describe what type of fare is being discussed, similarly to how airplane distinguishes air-planes from, say, hydroplanes.

Fanfare, as user3169 pointed out in their comment, comes from the French word fanfare, so it doesn't have the same construction as warfare.


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