-ite

1

a suffix of nouns denoting especially persons associated with a place, tribe, leader, doctrine, system, etc. (Campbellite; Israelite; laborite); minerals and fossils (ammonite; anthracite); explosives (cordite; dynamite); chemical compounds, especially salts of acids whose names end in -ous (phosphite; sulfite); pharmaceutical and commercial products (vulcanite); a member or component of a part of the body (somite).

Nearby words

  1. -ist,
  2. -ista,
  3. -istic,
  4. -istical,
  5. -istics,
  6. -itic,
  7. -ition,
  8. -itious,
  9. -itis,
  10. -itive

Compare -itis.

Origin of -ite

1
Middle English < Latin -ita < Greek -itēs; often directly < Greek; in some words representing French -ite, German -it, etc. < Latin < Greek, as above

-ite

2

a suffix forming adjectives and nouns from adjectives, and from some verbs: composite; opposite; erudite; requisite.

Origin of -ite

2
< Latin -itus or -ītus past participle suffix

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for -ite

-ite

1

suffix forming nouns

a native or inhabitant ofIsraelite
a follower or advocate of; a member or supporter of a groupLuddite; labourite
(in biology) indicating a division of a body or organsomite
indicating a mineral or rocknephrite; peridotite
indicating a commercial productvulcanite

Word Origin for -ite

via Latin -ita from Greek -itēs or directly from Greek

suffix forming nouns

indicating a salt or ester of an acid having a name ending in -ousa nitrite is a salt of nitrous acid

Word Origin for -ite

from French, arbitrary alteration of -ate 1

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 -ite
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for -ite

-ite

A suffix used to form the names of minerals, such as hematite and malachite.
A suffix used to form the name of a salt or ester of a specified acid whose name ends in -ous. Such salts or esters have one oxygen atom fewer than corresponding salts or esters with names ending in -ate. For example, a nitrite is a salt of nitrous acid and contains the group NO2, while a nitrate contains NO3. Compare -ate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.