- a suffix of verbs having a frequentative force: dazzle; twinkle.
- a suffix of adjectives formed originally on verbal stems and having the sense of “apt to”: brittle.
- a noun suffix having originally a diminutive meaning: bramble.
- a noun suffix indicating agent or instrument: beadle; bridle; thimble.
Origin of -le
Middle English -len, Old English -lian (v.); Middle English -el, Old English -ol (adj.); Middle English -el, Old English -il (diminutive); Middle English -el, Old English -ol, -ul (agent)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- denoting repeated or continuous action, often of a diminutive naturetwiddle; wriggle; wrestle
from Middle English -len, Old English -lian, with similar significance
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