a suffix occurring in loanwords from Latin, its English distribution paralleling that of Latin. The form originated as a suffix added to a-stem verbs to form adjectives (separate). The resulting form could also be used independently as a noun (advocate) and came to be used as a stem on which a verb could be formed (separate; advocate; agitate). In English the use as a verbal suffix has been extended to stems of non-Latin origin: calibrate; acierate.
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Origin of -ate1
< Latin -ātus (masculine), -āta (feminine), -ātum (neuter), equivalent to -ā- thematic vowel + -tus, -ta, -tum past participle suffix
Definition for -ate (2 of 3)
a specialization of -ate1, used to indicate a salt of an acid ending in -ic, added to a form of the stem of the element or group: nitrate; sulfate.
Origin of -ate2
probably originally in New Latin phrases, as plumbum acetātum salt produced by the action of acetic acid on lead
Definition for -ate (3 of 3)
a suffix occurring originally in nouns borrowed from Latin, and in English coinages from Latin bases, that denote offices or functions (consulate; triumvirate; pontificate), as well as institutions or collective bodies (electorate; senate); sometimes extended to denote a person who exercises such a function (magistrate; potentate), an associated place (consulate), or a period of office or rule (protectorate). Joined to stems of any origin, ate3 signifies the office, term of office, or territory of a ruler or official (caliphate; khanate; shogunate).
Origin of -ate3
< Latin -ātus (genitive -ātūs), generalized from v. derivatives, as augurātus office of an augur (augurā(re) to foretell by augury + -tus suffix of v. action), construed as derivative of augur augur1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for -ate (1 of 2)
(forming adjectives) possessing; having the appearance or characteristics offortunate; palmate; Latinate
(forming nouns) a chemical compound, esp a salt or ester of an acidcarbonate; stearate
(forming nouns) the product of a processcondensate
forming verbs from nouns and adjectiveshyphenate; rusticate
Word Origin for -ate
from Latin -ātus, past participial ending of verbs ending in -āre
British Dictionary definitions for -ate (2 of 2)
suffix forming nouns
denoting office, rank, or a group having a certain functionepiscopate; electorate
Word Origin for -ate
from Latin -ātus, suffix (fourth declension) of collective nouns
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 -ate
A derivative of a specified chemical compound or element:aluminate.
A salt or ester of a specified acid whose name ends in -ic:acetate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for -ate
A suffix used to form the name of a salt or ester of an acid whose name ends in -ic, such as acetate, a salt or ester of acetic acid. Such salts or esters have one oxygen atom more than corresponding salts or esters with names ending in -ite. For example, a sulfate is a salt of sulfuric acid and contains the group SO4, while a sulfite contains SO3. Compare -ite.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.