before vowels and in certain chemical compound words hex-, word-forming element meaning "six," from Greek hexa-, combining form of hex "six," from PIE root *sweks- (see six).
suffix added to numerals meaning "a group of (that number)," as in twosome, from pronoun use of Old English sum "some" (see some). Originally a separate word used with the genitive plural (as in sixa sum "six-some"); the inflection disappeared in Middle English and the pronoun was absorbed. Use of some with a number meaning "approximately" also was in Old English.
word-forming element technically meaning "something produced," but mainly, in modern use, "thing that produces or causes," from French -gène (18c.), from Greek -genes "born of, produced by," which is from the same source as genos "birth," genea "race, family," from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups. First used in late 18th century French chemistry (see oxygen), it probably involves a misunderstanding of -genes, as though it meant "that which produces."
word-forming element meaning "birth, origin, creation," from Greek genesis "origin, creation, generation," from gignesthai "to be born," related to genos "race, birth, descent" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).
word-forming element meaning "genesis, origin, mode of production," forming corresponding abstract nouns to words in -gen, from French -génie and Modern Latin -genia, from Greek -geneia, from -genes "born, produced," the form in compounds of genos, from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.
diminutive word-forming element, from Old French -ette (fem.), used indiscriminately in Old French with masculine form -et (see -et). As a general rule, older words borrowed from French have -et in English, while ones taken in since 17c. have -ette. In use with native words since late 19c., especially among persons who coin new product names, who tend to give it a sense of "imitation, a sort of" (for example flannelette "imitation flannel of cotton," 1876; leatherette, 1855; linenette, 1894). Also in such words as lecturette (1867), sermonette, which, OED remarks, "can scarcely be said to be in good use, though often met with in newspapers."
standard ending in chemical names of sugars, originally simply a noun-forming suffix, taken up by French chemists mid-19c.; it has no etymological connection with sugar. It appears around the same time in two chemical names, cellulose, which would owe it to the French suffix, and glucose, where it would be a natural result from the Greek original. Flood favors origin from glucose.
word-forming element, Latin -plus "-fold." Watkins derives it from *-plo-, combining form of PIE root *pel- (2) "to fold" and makes it cognate with Old English -feald, Greek -paltos, -plos. But de Vaan connects it to PIE root *pele- (1) that yielded words meaning "much, many, more" and is the source of poly-.
diminutive suffix, first attested late 12c. in proper names adopted from Flanders and Holland. As it is not found in Old English it probably is from Middle Dutch -kin, properly a double-diminutive, from -k + -in. Equivalent to German -chen. Also borrowed in Old French as -quin, where it usually has a bad sense.
This suffix, which is almost barren in French, has been more largely developed in the Picard patois, which uses it for new forms, such as verquin, a shabby little glass (verre); painequin, a bad little loaf (pain); Pierrequin poor little Pierre, &c. ["An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]
Used in later Middle English with common nouns. In some words it is directly from Dutch or Flemish.
third person singular present indicative suffix of verbs, it represents Old English -es, -as, which began to replace -eð in Northumbrian 10c., and gradually spread south until by Shakespeare's time it had emerged from colloquialism and -eth began to be limited to more dignified speeches.