a suffix of adjectives borrowed from Latin, where it had an inchoative force; often corresponding to verbs in -esce and nouns in -escence: convalescent; recrudescent.
Origin of -escent
< Latin, stem of -ēscēns, present participle ending
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for -escent
suffix forming adjectives
beginning to be, do, show, etcconvalescent; luminescent
Derived Forms-escence, suffix forming nouns
Word Origin for -escent
via Old French from Latin -ēscent-, stem of present participial suffix of -ēscere, ending of inceptive verbs
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 -escent
word-forming element meaning "beginning, becoming, tending to be," from Latin -escentem (nominative -escens), ending of present participles of verbs in -escere.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper