word-forming element meaning "stupor, narcosis, sleep," also "of or pertaining to narcotic drugs," from Latinized form of Greek narko-, combining form of narke "numbness" (see narcotic (n.)).
word-forming element meaning "new, young, recent," used in a seemingly endless number of adjectives and nouns, mostly coined since c. 1880, from Greek neos "new, young, youthful; fresh, strange; lately, just now," from PIE root *newo- (see new). In the physical sciences, caeno-, ceno- is used in the same sense. Paleo- is opposed to both.
word-forming element denoting action, quality, or state, attached to an adjective or past participle to form an abstract noun, from Old English -nes(s), from Proto-Germanic *in-assu- (cognates: Old Saxon -nissi, Middle Dutch -nisse, Dutch -nis, Old High German -nissa, German -nis, Gothic -inassus), from *-in-, originally belonging to the noun stem, + *-assu-, abstract noun suffix, probably from the same root as Latin -tudo (see -tude).
before vowels neur-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to a nerve or nerves or the nervous system," from Greek neura "nerve" (Galen), originally "sinew, bowstring," also neuron "sinew, string (of a bow or musical instrument); cord; penis;" in plural "strength, vigor," from PIE *(s)neuro- "tendon, sinew" (see nerve (n.)). In Greek, puppets were neurospastos, literally "drawn by strings."
as in beatnik, etc., suffix used in word formation from c. 1945, from Yiddish -nik (as in nudnik "a bore"), from Russian -nik, common personal suffix meaning "person or thing associated with or involved in" (compare nudnik; kolkhoznik "member of a kolkhoz"). Rocketed to popularity with sputnik (q.v.), hence its brief vogue in English word-formation, as in robotnik "person behaving with mindless obedience" (1960).
before vowels non-, word-forming element indicating "nine," from combining form of Latin nonus "ninth," contracted from *novenos, from novem "nine" (see nine).