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  1. a suffix found in French loanwords of Latin origin, usually diminutives, and later in adaptations of words borrowed directly from Latin or in Neo-Latin coinages: areole; centriole; vacuole.

Origin of -ole1

< French < Latin -olus, -ola, -olum, variant of -ulus -ule with stems ending in a vowel


  1. a suffix used in names of chemical compounds, especially five-membered, unsaturated rings (carbazole; indole; thiazole) and, less systematically, aromatic ethers (anisole; safrole).
Also -ol2.

Origin of -ole2

< French < Latin oleum oil
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for -ole



n combining form
  1. denoting an organic unsaturated compound containing a 5-membered ringthiazole
  2. denoting an aromatic organic etheranisole

Word Origin

from Latin oleum oil, from Greek elaion, from elaia olive


  1. indicating something smallarteriole

Word Origin

from Latin -olus, diminutive suffix
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

-ole in Medicine


  1. A usually heterocyclic chemical compound containing a five-membered ring:pyrrole.
  2. A chemical compound, especially an ether, that does not contain hydroxyl:indole.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.