-a

1

a plural ending of nouns borrowed from Greek and Latin: phenomena; criteria; data; errata; genera.

-a

2

a feminine singular ending of nouns borrowed from Latin and Greek, also used in Neo-Latin coinages to Latinize bases of any origin, and as a Latin substitute for the feminine ending -ē of Greek words: anabaena; cinchona; pachysandra.

-a

3

an ending of personal names forming feminines from masculines: Georgia; Roberta.

Origin of -a

3
< L feminine -a (see -a2), as Claudia, feminine of Claudius

-a

4

a suffix designating the oxide of the chemical element denoted by the stem: alumina; ceria; thoria.

Origin of -a

4
probably generalized from the -a of magnesia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019