- a suffix formerly used to form transitive and intransitive verbs from adjectives (fasten; harden; sweeten), or from nouns (heighten; lengthen; strengthen).
Origin of -en1
- a suffix used to form adjectives of source or material from nouns: ashen; golden; oaken.
Origin of -en2
- a suffix used to mark the past participle in many strong and some weak verbs: taken; proven.
Origin of -en3
- a suffix used in forming the plural of some nouns: brethren; children; oxen.
Origin of -en4
- a diminutive suffix: kitten; maiden.
Origin of -en5
- cause to be; become; cause to haveblacken; heighten
- of; made of; resemblingashen; earthen; wooden
Word Origin and History for -en
word-forming element making verbs (e.g. darken, weaken) from adjectives or from nouns, from Old English -nian, from Proto-Germanic *-inojan (cf. Old Norse -na), from PIE adjectival suffix *-no-. Most active in Middle English.
suffix added to nouns to produce adjectives meaning "made of, of the nature of" (e.g. golden, oaken), corresponding to Latin -ine. Common in Old and Middle English, surviving words with it now are largely discarded in everyday use and the simple form of the noun serves as an adjective as well.