Origin of -ar

< Latin -āris; replacing Middle English -er < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin -āris


  1. variant of -er2, often under the influence of a spelling with -ar- in a cognate Latin noun: burglar; cellar; collar; mortar; poplar; scholar; vicar; vinegar.


  1. variant of -er1 on the model of -ar2, used in the formation of nouns of agency: liar; beggar.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for -ar


suffix forming adjectives
  1. of; belonging to; likelinear; polar; minuscular

Word Origin for -ar

via Old French -er from Latin -āris, replacing -ālis (-al 1) after stems ending in l
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 -ar

word-formation element meaning "pertaining to, of the nature of," from Latin -arem, -aris "of the kind of, belonging to," a secondary form of -alis, dissimilated for used after syllables with an -l- (e.g. insularis for *insulalis, stellaris for *stellalis).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper