variant of suffix -an (q.v.), with connective -i-. From Latin -ianus, in which the -i- originally was from the stem of the word being attached but later came to be felt as connective. In Middle English frequently it was -ien, via French.
word-forming element meaning "above, over, beyond, before," from Latin supra "above, over, before, beyond, on the upper side," in supera (parte), literally "on the upper (side)," from old fem. ablative singular of superus (adj.) "above," related to super "above, over" (from PIE root *uper "over"). In English interchangeable with, but somewhat more technical than, super-. Rare as a prefix in Latin, more common in Medieval Latin, in English chiefly scientific or technical.