-er
I. adjective suffix or adverb suffix Etymology: Middle English -er, -ere, -re, from Old English -ra (in adjectives), -or (in adverbs); akin to Old High German -iro, adjective comparative suffix, Latin -ior, Greek -iōn — used to form the comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs of one syllable <
hotter
>
<
drier
>
and of some adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllables <
completer
>
<
beautifuller
>
II. noun suffix also -ier or -yer Etymology: Middle English -er, -ere, -ier, -iere; partly from Old English -ere (from Latin -arius); partly from Old French -ier, -iere, from Latin -arius, -aria, -arium -ary; partly from Anglo-French -ere, from Latin -ator -or — more at -ary, -or 1. a. person occupationally connected with <
furrier
>
<
lawyer
>
b. person or thing belonging to or associated with <
header
>
<
old-timer
>
c. native of ; resident of <
cottager
>
<
New Yorker
>
d. one that has <
three-decker
>
e. one that produces or yields <
porker
>
2. a. one that does or performs (a specified action) <
batter
>
— sometimes added to both elements of a compound <
builder-upper
>
b. one that is a suitable object of (a specified action) <
broiler
>
3. one that is <
foreigner
>
— in all senses -yer in a few words after w, -ier in a few other words, otherwise -er

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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