Words related to -ant


word-forming element attached to verbs to form abstract nouns of process or fact (convergence from converge), or of state or quality (absence from absent); ultimately from Latin -antia and -entia, which depended on the vowel in the stem word, from PIE *-nt-, adjectival suffix.

Latin present-participle endings for verbs stems in -a- were distinguished from those in -i- and -e-. Hence Modern English protestant, opponent, obedient from Latin protestare, opponere, obedire.

As Old French evolved from Latin, these were leveled to -ance, but later French borrowings from Latin (some of them subsequently passed to English) used the appropriate Latin form of the ending, as did words borrowed by English directly from Latin (diligence,absence).

English thus inherited a confused mass of words from French (crescent/croissant), and further confused it since c. 1500 by restoring -ence selectively in some forms of these words to conform with Latin. Thus dependant, but independence, etc.

colorant (n.)

"pigment, coloring material," 1884, from French colorant; see color + -ant.

compliant (adj.)

"yielding to desire, ready to accommodate," 1640s, from comply + -ant.

consultant (n.)

1690s, "person who consults an oracle," from consult + -ant. In medicine, "physician called in by the attending physician to give consultation in a case," by 1872 (perhaps from French, where it was in use by 1867); general meaning "one qualified to give professional advice" is first attested 1893 in a Sherlock Holmes story. Related: Consultancy (1955).

coolant (n.)

"radiator fluid," 1915, from cool (adj.) + -ant.

cormorant (n.)

"large, black swimming and diving bird," early 14c., cormeraunt, from Old French cormarenc (12c., Modern French cormoran), from Late Latin corvus marinus "sea raven" + Germanic suffix -enc, -ing. The -t in English probably is from confusion with words in -ant. See corvine + marine (adj.). The birds are proverbially voracious, hence the word was applied to greedy or gluttonous persons (1530s).

decongestant (n.)

"a decongestive agent," by 1950; see de- + congest + -ant. Related: Decongestion (1901); decongest (v.), by 1912; decongestive (adj.), by 1922.

defoliant (n.)

"chemical used to defoliate," 1943; see defoliate + -ant. Defoliator (1875) was used of insects which destroy the leaves of trees.

depressant (n.)

"a sedative," 1876; see depress + -ant. From 1887 as an adjective, "having the quality of depressing."


word-forming element making adjectives from nouns or verbs, from French -ent and directly from Latin -entem (nominative -ens), present-participle ending of verbs in -ere/-ire. Old French changed it in many words to -ant, but after c. 1500 some of these in English were changed back to what was supposed to be correct Latin. See -ant.