a suffix occurring in loanwords from Greek denoting a group or unit comprising a certain number, sometimes of years: dyad; triad.
a suffix meaning “derived from,” “related to,” “concerned with,” “associated with” (oread), introduced in loanwords from Greek (Olympiad; oread), used sporadically in imitation of Greek models, as Dunciad, after Iliad.


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Words nearby -ad

Origin of -ad

Greek -ad- (stem of -as), specialization of feminine adjective-forming suffix, often used substantively

Definition for -ad (2 of 3)


variant of -ade1: ballad.

Definition for -ad (3 of 3)


Anatomy, Zoology. a suffix forming adverbs from nouns signifying parts of the body, denoting a direction toward that part: dextrad; dorsad; mediad.

Origin of -ad

From the Latin word ad toward, anomalously suffixed to the noun; introduced as a suffix by Scottish anatomist John Barclay (1758–1826) in 1803
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for -ad (1 of 2)


suffix forming nouns

a group or unit (having so many parts or members)triad
an epic poem concerning (the subject indicated by the stem)Dunciad

Word Origin for -ad

via Latin from Greek -ad- (plural -ades), originally forming adjectives; names of epic poems are all formed on the model of the Iliad

British Dictionary definitions for -ad (2 of 2)


suffix forming adverbs

denoting direction towards a specified part in anatomical descriptionscephalad

Word Origin for -ad

from Latin ad to, towards
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

Medical definitions for -ad



In the direction of; toward:cephalad.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.