Share this entry

-ette

Definition of -ette in English:

suffix

Forming nouns:
1Denoting relatively small size: kitchenette
3Denoting female gender: suffragette

Usage

The use of -ette as a feminine suffix for forming new words is relatively recent: it was first recorded in the word suffragette at the beginning of the 20th century and has since been used to form only a handful of well-established words, including usherette and drum majorette, for example. In the modern context, where the tendency is to use words which are neutral in gender, the suffix -ette is not very productive and new words formed using it tend to be restricted to the deliberately flippant or humorous, as, for example, ladette and punkette.

Origin

From Old French -ette, feminine of -et1.

Definition of -ette in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources