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.
A Long List of Affixes: Suffixes, Prefixes, and Combining FormsSuffixes -able, -ible, -ile: (form adjs) able to, fit to, worthy, capable; apt to; subject to being ~-ed -ac: one affect with -ac, -al, -ane, -ar, -ary, -ch, -ese, -ic, -ical, -id, -ile, -ine, -ish, -ory: like, of, pertaining to; characterized by -aceae: families of plants -aceous, -ous: resemblance to a substance; full of -acy, -age, -ance, -ancy, -asm, -dom, -ence, -ency, -hood, -ism, -ity, -ment, -mony, -ness, -ry, -ship, …
Origin of -escent
< Latin, stem of -ēscēns, present participle ending
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
suffix forming adjectives
beginning to be, do, show, etcconvalescent; luminescent
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-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