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-ee

  1. a suffix forming from transitive verbs nouns which denote a person who is the object or beneficiary of the act specified by the verb (addressee; employee; grantee); recent formations now also mark the performer of an act, with the base being an intransitive verb (escapee; returnee; standee) or, less frequently, a transitive verb (attendee) or another part of speech (absentee; refugee).
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Origin of -ee

< French -é, (masculine), -ée (feminine), past participle endings < Latin -ātus, -āta -ate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for -ee

-ee

suffix forming nouns
  1. indicating a person who is the recipient of an action (as opposed, esp in legal terminology, to the agent, indicated by -or or -er)assignee; grantee; lessee
  2. indicating a person in a specified state or conditionabsentee; employee
  3. indicating a diminutive form of somethingbootee
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Word Origin for -ee

via Old French -e, -ee, past participial endings, from Latin -ātus, -āta -ate 1
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 -ee

word-forming element in legal English (and in imitation of it), representing the Anglo-French ending of pps. used as nouns. As these sometimes were coupled with agent nouns in -or, the two suffixes came to be used as a pair to denote the initiator and the recipient of an action.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper