- a suffix formerly used to form transitive and intransitive verbs from adjectives (fasten; harden; sweeten), or from nouns (heighten; lengthen; strengthen).
Origin of -en1
Middle English, Old English -n- (as in Middle English fast-n-en, Old English fǣst-n-ian to make fast, fasten); cognate with -n- of like verbs in other Gmc languages (Old Norse fastna)
- a suffix used to form adjectives of source or material from nouns: ashen; golden; oaken.
Origin of -en2
Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old High German -īn, Gothic -eins, Latin -īnus; see -ine1
- a suffix used to mark the past participle in many strong and some weak verbs: taken; proven.
Origin of -en3
Middle English, Old English; cognate with German -en, Old Norse -inn
- a suffix used in forming the plural of some nouns: brethren; children; oxen.
Origin of -en4
Middle English; Old English -an, case ending of n-stem nouns, as in naman oblique singular, and nominative and accusative plural of nama name; akin to n-stem forms in other IE languages, as in Latin nōmen, nōmin- name
- a diminutive suffix: kitten; maiden.
Origin of -en5
Middle English, Old English, from neuter of -en2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- cause to be; become; cause to haveblacken; heighten
Old English -n-, as in fæst-n-ian to fasten, of common Germanic origin; compare Icelandic fastna
- of; made of; resemblingashen; earthen; wooden
Old English -en; related to Gothic -eins, Latin -īnus -ine 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper