• synonyms


  1. a suffix of adjectives of Greek or Latin origin, meaning “of or pertaining to,” “of the nature of,” “made of,” “like”: asinine; crystalline; equine; marine.
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Compare -in1.

Origin of -ine1

< Latin -īnus, -inus < Greek -inos


  1. a suffix, of no assignable meaning, appearing in nouns of Greek, Latin, or French origin: doctrine; famine; routine.
  2. a noun suffix used particularly in chemical terms (bromine; chlorine), and especially in names of basic substances (amine; aniline; caffeine; quinine; quinoline).Compare -in2.
  3. a suffix of feminine nouns (heroine), given names (Clementine), and titles (landgravine).
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Compare -ina1.

Origin of -ine2

< French < Latin -ina, orig. feminine of -inus; also representing Greek -inē, feminine noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for -ine


suffix forming adjectives
  1. of, relating to, or belonging tosaturnine
  2. consisting of or resemblingcrystalline
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Word Origin

from Latin -īnus, from Greek -inos


suffix forming nouns
  1. indicating a halogenchlorine
  2. indicating a nitrogenous organic compound, including amino acids, alkaloids, and certain other basesalanine; nicotine; purine
  3. Also: -in indicating a chemical substance in certain nonsystematic namesglycerine
  4. indicating a mixture of hydrocarbonsbenzine
  5. indicating a feminine formheroine
  6. an obsolete equivalent of -yne
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Word Origin

via French from Latin -ina (from -inus) and Greek -inē
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 -ine


suffix used to form adjectives from nouns, from French -ine, fem. of -in, or directly from Latin -inus "of, like."

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chemical suffix, sometimes -in, though modern use distinguishes them; early 19c., from French -ine, from Latin -ina, fem. form of suffix used to form adjectives from nouns. In French commonly used to form words for derived substances, hence its extended use in chemistry.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

-ine in Medicine


  1. or -in A chemical substance:bromine, amine, quinine.
  2. Amino acid:glycine.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.