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-elle

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a noun suffix occurring in loanwords from French, where it originally formed diminutives, now often with a derivative sense in which the diminutive force is lost (bagatelle; prunelle; rondelle); also in Anglicized forms of Latin words ending in -ella (organelle).
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of -elle

<French <Latin -ella, feminine of -ellus, forming diminutives corresponding to stems ending in -ul--ule, -r- (see castellum), -n- (see patella)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

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