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-ory1

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  1. an adjective-forming suffix, joined to bases of Latin origin in imitation of borrowed Latin words containing the suffix -tory1 (and its alternant -sory): excretory; sensory; statutory.

Origin of -ory1

Middle English -orie < Anglo-French; Old French -oire < Latin -ōrius, extracted from -tōrius -tory1; see -or2

-ory2

  1. a suffix forming nouns denoting places or receptacles, joined to bases of Latin origin in imitation of borrowed Latin words containing the suffix -tory2 (or its alternant -sory): crematory.

Origin of -ory2

Middle English -orie < Anglo-French; Old French -oire < Latin -ōrium, extracted from -tōrium -tory2; see -ory1, -or2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for -ory

-ory1

suffix forming nouns
  1. indicating a place forobservatory
  2. something having a specified usedirectory

Word Origin

via Old French -orie, from Latin -ōrium, -ōria

-ory2

suffix forming adjectives
  1. of or relating to; characterized by; having the effect ofcontributory; promissory

Word Origin

via Old French -orie, from Latin -ōrius
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 -ory

adjective and noun suffix, "having to do with, characterized by, tending to, place for," from Middle English -orie, from Old North French -ory, -orie (Old French -oir, -oire), from Latin -orius, -oria, -orium.

Latin adjectives in -orius, according to "An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," tended to "indicate a quality proper to the action accomplished by the agent; as oratorius from orator; laudatorius from laudator. The neuter of these adjectives was early employed as a substantive, and usually denoted the place of residence of the agent or the instrument that he uses; as praetorium from praetor; dormitorium from dormitor; auditorium, dolatorium.

"These newer words, already frequent under the Empire, became exceedingly numerous at a later time, especially in ecclesiastical and scholastic Latin; as purgatorium, refectorium, laboratorium, observatorium, &c." [transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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