[ uh, er ]
/ ə, ər /
(used to express or represent a pause, hesitation, uncertainty, etc.).
DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
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Question 1 of 7
What does “vacillate” mean?
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH erer , err.
Definition for er (2 of 13)
Definition for er (3 of 13)
Definition for er (4 of 13)
a suffix used in forming nouns designating persons from the object of their occupation or labor (hatter; tiler; tinner; moonshiner), or from their place of origin or abode (Icelander; southerner; villager), or designating either persons or things from some special characteristic or circumstance (six-footer; three-master; teetotaler; fiver; tenner).
a suffix serving as the regular English formative of agent nouns, being attached to verbs of any origin (bearer; creeper; employer; harvester; teacher; theorizer).
Origin of -er1
Middle English -er(e), a coalescence of Old English -ere agentive suffix (cognate with Old High German -āri, Gothic -areis, from unattested Germanic -arjaz, from unattested Slavic -arĭ, from Latin -ārius ) and Old English -ware suffix forming nouns of ethnic or residential origin (e.g., Rōmware “Romans”), cognate with Old High German -āri, from unattested Germanic -warioz “people”; see origin at -ary
Definition for er (5 of 13)
a noun suffix occurring in loanwords from French in the Middle English period, most often names of occupations (archer; butcher; butler; carpenter; grocer; mariner; officer), but also other nouns (corner; danger; primer). Some historical instances of this suffix, as in banker or gardener, where the base is a recognizable modern English word, are now indistinguishable from denominal formations with -er1, as miller or potter.
Definition for er (6 of 13)
a termination of nouns denoting action or process: dinner; rejoinder; remainder; trover.
Origin of -er3
<French, originally infinitive suffix -er, -re
Definition for er (7 of 13)
a suffix regularly used in forming the comparative degree of adjectives: harder; smaller.
Origin of -er4
Middle English -er(e), -re,Old English -ra, -re; cognate with German -er
Definition for er (8 of 13)
a suffix regularly used in forming the comparative degree of adverbs: faster.
Origin of -er5
Middle English -er(e), -re,Old English -or; cognate with Old High German -or,German -er
Definition for er (9 of 13)
a formal element appearing in verbs having frequentative meaning: flicker; flutter; shiver; shudder.
Origin of -er6
Middle English; Old English -r-; cognate with German -(e)r-
Definition for er (10 of 13)
a suffix that creates informal or jocular mutations of more neutral words, which are typically clipped to a single syllable if polysyllabic, before application of the suffix, and which sometimes undergo other phonetic alterations: bed-sitter; footer; fresher; rugger. Most words formed thus have been limited to English public-school and university slang; few, if any, have become current in North America, with the exception of soccer, which has also lost its earlier informal character.
Origin of -er7
probably modeled on nonagentive uses of -er1; said to have first become current in University College, Oxford, 1875–80
Definition for er (11 of 13)
Origin of E.R.1
From New Latin Edwardus Rex
Definition for er (12 of 13)
Origin of E.R.2
From New Latin Elizabeth Regina
Definition for er (13 of 13)
East Riding (Yorkshire).
East River (New York City).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for er (1 of 6)
/ (ə, ɜː) /
a sound made when hesitating in speech
British Dictionary definitions for er (2 of 6)
the internet domain name for
British Dictionary definitions for er (3 of 6)
the chemical symbol for
British Dictionary definitions for er (4 of 6)
(in the US) Emergency Room (in hospitals)
Word Origin for ER
Latin: Queen Elizabeth
British Dictionary definitions for er (5 of 6)
suffix forming nouns
a person or thing that performs a specified actionreader; decanter; lighter
a person engaged in a profession, occupation, etcwriter; baker; bootlegger
a native or inhabitant ofislander; Londoner; villager
a person or thing having a certain characteristicnewcomer; double-decker; fiver
Word Origin for -er
Old English -ere; related to German -er, Latin -ārius
British Dictionary definitions for er (6 of 6)
forming the comparative degree of adjectives (deeper, freer, sunnier, etc) and adverbs (faster, slower, etc)
Word Origin for -er
Old English -rd, -re (adj), -or (adv)
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 er (1 of 2)
The symbol for the elementerbium
Medical definitions for er (2 of 2)
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for er
The symbol for erbium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.