a suffix occurring originally in loanwords from Classical and Medieval Latin, on adjectives (elementary; honorary; stationary; tributary), personal nouns (actuary; notary; secretary), or nouns denoting objects, especially receptacles or places (library; rosary; glossary). The suffix has the general sense “pertaining to, connected with” the referent named by the base; it is productive in English, sometimes with the additional senses “contributing to,” “for the purpose of,” and usually forming adjectives: complimentary; visionary; revolutionary; inflationary.
English Affixes From A To Z: A One-Stop List Of Suffixes, Prefixes, and Combining FormsIn English, we love to make new words by adding all sorts of bits to the front and back of existing terms. These are called affixes, and they are added to the base or stem of a word. When attached to the end of word, the affix is called a suffix. And to the beginning? A prefix.
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British Dictionary definitions for -ary
(forming adjectives) of; related to; belonging tocautionary; rudimentary
- a person connected with or engaged inmissionary
- a thing relating to; a place forcommentary; aviary
Word Origin for -ary
from Latin -ārius, -āria, -ārium
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