Forming abstract or collective nouns.
[A Germanic root related to the Old English dom, originally a decree or judgement.]
Older examples imply a state or condition (as in freedom, the state of being free, or wisdom, the condition of being wise) or denote a rank or an area controlled by a person of that rank (so earldom is either the rank of an earl, or the domain controlled by one; other examples are fiefdom and kingdom). The suffix is active, but modern creations most often describe a class of people, or of attitudes linked to them, such as officialdom. Some of these—such as stardom or fogeydom—have achieved a permanent or semi-permanent status. But many transient compounds are created in popular writing, most of them destined to be used just once: groupiedom, touchie-feeliedom, wifedom. One relatively new example that might achieve permanence is computerdom, for the whole group of people associated with computers and computing.