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Etymology 1

From Old English -ere, from Proto-Germanic

Alternative forms

  • -'er (following an abbreviation, or sometimes following a number)



  1. Added to verbs to form agent nouns with the sense of "person or thing which does the verb".
    reader, cooker, computer, runner-up, do-gooder
  2. Added to proper nouns to form proper nouns and proper adjectives with the sense of "resident or inhabitant of the place denoted by the proper noun".
    New Yorker
  3. Added to nouns to form nouns denoting occupations.
    astrologer, cricketer, trumpeter
  4. Added to numbers, measurements or numbers of things to form nouns meaning something ranked by that number, being of that measurement or having that number of things.
    sixer, six-footer, three-wheeler
Usage notes

The suffix may be used to form an agent noun of many verbs. In compound or phrasal verbs, the suffix usually follows the verb component (as in passerby and runner-up) but is sometimes added at the end, irrespective of the position of the verb component (do-gooder) or is added to both components for humorous effect (washer-upper).


The translations below are a guide only. For more precise translations, see specific words ending with this prefix.

Etymology 2

Representing various noun-suffixes in Old French and Anglo-Norman, variously -er, -ier and -ieür, from [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] -aris, -arius, -atorium.



  1. Forming nouns from Old French and Anglo-Norman, usually with sense of "person or thing connected with"
    danger, butler

Etymology 3

From Old English -ra, from Proto-Germanic *-izon or Proto-Germanic *-ōzon (a derivative of Etymology 4, below).



  1. Used to form the comparative of certain adjectives, now especially short ones.
    longer, bigger, faster, sooner, simpler
Usage notes

The following usage notes apply to the formation of comparatives using the suffix "-er" and superlatives using the suffix "-est".

  1. Final y preceded by a consonant becomes i when the suffix -er or -est is added (for example, easy has the comparative and superlative forms easier and easiest, but the comparative and superlative of gay are gayer and gayest).
  2. When the stress is on the final (or only) syllable of the adjective, and this syllable ends in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, the final consonant is doubled when the suffix is added (for example, dim has comparative dimmer and superlative dimmest).
  3. The suffixes -er and -est may be used to form the comparative and superlative, respectively, of:
    • adjectives and adverbs of one syllable that form their comparatives and superlatives regularly (for example, hot becomes hotter and hottest; fast becomes faster and fastest, but good has the comparative and superlative forms better and best, and the comparative and superlative of far are either farther and farthest or further and furthest, depending on the meaning);
    • some, but not all, adjectives that have two syllables (for example, funny has the comparative funnier and the superlative funniest, but rigid has the comparative and superlative forms more rigid and most rigid).
  4. Most longer adjectives, and adjectives that are participles, form the comparative using more and the superlative using most: the only acceptable comparative and superlative of enormous are more enormous and most enormous; burnt becomes more burnt and most burnt; and the comparative and superlative of freezing are more freezing and most freezing.
  5. If in doubt, use more to form the comparative and most to form the superlative; for example, thirsty may become thirstier and thirstiest, but more thirsty and most thirsty are also acceptable.

Etymology 4

From Old English -or, from Proto-Germanic *-ōz.



  1. Used to form the comparartive form of certain adverbs.

Etymology 5

Representing Anglo-Norman -er, the infinitive verbal ending.



  1. Forming nouns from verbs with the sense of ‘instance of the verbal action’, especially in legal terms
    disclaimer, misnomer

Etymology 6

From Old English -erian, -rian, from Proto-Germanic.



  1. Forming frequentative verbs from verbs or imitative sounds.
    twitter, clamber, mutter

Etymology 7

Originally Rugby School slang.



  1. Forming slang or colloquial equivalents of words.
    soccer, rugger, brekkers

See also



-er m (plural -ers, feminine -ster)

  1. appended to the stem of a verb, it yields a noun which signifies the subject who performs the action of that verb (see agent noun)

-er (inflected -ere)

  1. appended to an adjective, it yields its comparative form

Derived terms




  1. The infinitive ending for many verbs.




  1. Forming agent nouns from verbs with the sense of ‘person or thing which does’, suffixed to the first-person singular indicative present form from which the E is dropped.
    arbeiten 'to work'; (ich) arbeit(e) + -er '-er' -> Arbeiter 'worker'

Usage notes

  • If suffixed to the verb sein "be", it takes the first-person singular subjunctive present form sei.



From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:es:Template:lang:la derivations]] -ere



  1. The infinitive suffix for many verbs.


See: Appendix:Spanish verbs in -er

See also

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