a suffix forming adjectives and nouns from verbs, occurring originally in French and Latin loanwords (pleasant; constant; servant) and productive in English on this model; -ant has the general sense “characterized by or serving in the capacity of” that named by the stem (ascendant; pretendant), especially in the formation of nouns denoting human agents in legal actions or other formal procedures (tenant; defendant; applicant; contestant). In technical and commercial coinages, -ant is a suffix of nouns denoting impersonal physical agents (propellant; lubricant; deodorant). In general, -ant can be added only to bases of Latin origin, with a very few exceptions, as coolant.
🔍- Left-pointing Magnifying Glass Emoji - Emoji by Dictionary.comRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
They Call It Puppy Love And Other Animal-inspired PhrasesWe often attribute emotions and other human characteristics to animals. This is called anthropomorphism. Similarly, we also describe people using animal characteristics. You might, for example, say my teenage son “eats like a horse,” meaning he’s a growing boy and consumes a lot of food. This is called zoomorphism. Zoomorphism also includes assigning animal-like qualities to gods and inanimate objects. The term comes from the Greek …
See also -ent.
Origin of -ant
< Latin -ant-, present participle stem of verbs in -āre; in many words < French -ant < Latin -ant- or -ent- (see -ent); akin to Middle English, Old English -and-, -end-, present participle suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for -ant
suffix forming adjectives, suffix forming nouns
causing or performing an action or existing in a certain condition; the agent that performs an actionpleasant; claimant; deodorant; protestant; servant
Word Origin for -ant
from Latin -ant-, ending of present participles of the first conjugation
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 -ant
agent or instrumental suffix, from Old French and French -ant, from Latin -antem, accusative of -ans, present participle suffix of many Latin verbs.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper