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a noun suffix occurring in loanwords from French, where it originally formed diminutives, now often with a derivative sense in which the diminutive force is lost (bagatelle; prunelle; rondelle); also in Anglicized forms of Latin words ending in -ella (organelle).
Origin of -elle
< French < Latin -ella, feminine of -ellus, forming diminutives corresponding to stems ending in -ul- -ule, -r- (see castellum), -n- (see patella) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for elle
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Historical Examples
  • Her only attempt in larger form is the operetta "elle et Lui."

    Woman's Work in Music Arthur Elson
  • On the margin of this picture is written, "elle m'aimera toujours."

    In Chteau Land

    Anne Hollingsworth Wharton
  • elle put her arms around her neck, and her mouth to her ear.

    Alone Marion Harland
  • The seal to this letter was a sunflower—elle vous suit partout.

    Byron Richard Edgcumbe
  • elle l'a lien voulu, and if you're married you're married; it's the smoke—or call it the soot!

    The Awkward Age Henry James

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