a combination of -ate1 and -ion, used to form nouns from stems in -ate1 (separation); on this model, used independently to form nouns from stems of other origin: starvation.

Nearby words

  1. -aster,
  2. -ata,
  3. -ate,
  4. -athon,
  5. -atic,
  6. -ative,
  7. -ator,
  8. -atory,
  9. -bacter,
  10. -bashing

Origin of -ation

< Latin -ātiōn- (stem of -ātiō), equivalent to -ā- stem vowel + -tiōn- -tion

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for -ation


suffix forming nouns

indicating an action, process, state, condition, or resultarbitration; cogitation; hibernation; moderation Compare -ion, -tion

Word Origin for -ation

from Latin -ātiōn-, suffix of abstract nouns, from -ātus -ate 1 + -iōn -ion

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 -ation


word-forming element for making nouns of action; see -ion.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper