'em Look up 'em at Dictionary.com
Middle English, now taken as a colloquial abbreviation of them, but originally a form of hem, dative and accusative of the third person plural pronoun.
-ean Look up -ean at Dictionary.com
variant of -an after names ending in -ea, -es, -eus.
-ectomy Look up -ectomy at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "surgical removal," from Greek -ektomia "a cutting out of," from ektemnein "to cut out," from ek "out" (see ex-) + temnein "to cut" (see tome).
-ed Look up -ed at Dictionary.com
past participle suffix of weak verbs, from Old English -ed, -ad, -od (leveled to -ed in Middle English), from Proto-Germanic *-do- (cognates: Old High German -ta, German -t, Old Norse -þa, Gothic -da, -þs), from PIE *-to- (cognates: Sanskrit -tah, Greek -tos, Latin -tus; see -th (1)).

Originally fully pronounced, as still in beloved (which, with blessed, accursed, and a few others retains the full pronunciation through liturgical readings). In 16c.-18c. often written -t when so pronounced (usually after a consonant or short vowel), and still so where a long vowel in the stem is short in the past participle (as in crept, slept, etc.). In some older words both forms exist, with different shades of meaning, as in gilded/gilt, burned/burnt.
-ee Look up -ee at Dictionary.com
word-forming element in legal English (and in imitation of it), representing the Anglo-French ending of past participles used as nouns. As these sometimes were coupled with agent nouns in -or, the two suffixes came to be used as a pair to denote the initiator and the recipient of an action.
-een Look up -een at Dictionary.com
anglicized form of French -in, -ine, ultimately from Latin -inus, -ina.
-eer Look up -eer at Dictionary.com
suffix meaning "one who" (operates, produces, deals in); anglicized form of French -ier, from Latin -arius, -iarius; compare -ary.
-ella Look up -ella at Dictionary.com
diminutive word-forming element, from Latin -ella, fem. of -ellus.
-eme Look up -eme at Dictionary.com
in linguistics, noted as an active suffix and word-formation element from 1953; from French -ème "unit, sound," from phonème (see phoneme).
-emia Look up -emia at Dictionary.com
word-forming element in medicine meaning "condition of the blood," Modern Latin comb. form of Greek haima (genitive haimatos) "blood," possibly from PIE root *sai- "thick liquid."
-en (1) Look up -en at Dictionary.com
word-forming element making verbs (such as darken, weaken) from adjectives or nouns, from Old English -nian, from Proto-Germanic *-inojan (also source of Old Norse -na), from PIE adjectival suffix *-no-. Most active in Middle English.
-en (2) Look up -en at Dictionary.com
suffix added to nouns to produce adjectives meaning "made of, of the nature of" (such as golden, oaken), corresponding to Latin -ine. Common in Old and Middle English, surviving words with it now are largely discarded in everyday use and the simple form of the noun serves as an adjective as well.
-ence Look up -ence at Dictionary.com
see -ance.
-ency Look up -ency at Dictionary.com
word-forming element denoting quality or state, from Latin -entia. Derivatively identical with -ence.
-ene Look up -ene at Dictionary.com
hydrocarbon suffix, from Greek name-forming element -ene. It has no real meaning in itself; in chemistry terminology probably abstracted from methylene (1834). Put in systematic use by Hofmann (1865).
-ent Look up -ent at Dictionary.com
word-forming element making adjectives from nouns or verbs, from French -ent and directly from Latin -entem, present participle ending of verbs in -ere/-ire. Old French changed many to -ant but after c.1500 some of these in English were changed back to what was supposed to be correct Latin (see -ance).
-er (1) Look up -er at Dictionary.com
English agent noun ending, corresponding to Latin -or. In native words it represents Old English -ere (Old Northumbrian also -are) "man who has to do with," from Proto-Germanic *-ari (cognates: German -er, Swedish -are, Danish -ere), from Proto-Germanic *-arjoz. Some believe this root is identical with, and perhaps a borrowing of, Latin -arius.

In words of Latin origin, verbs derived from past participle stems of Latin ones (including most verbs in -ate) usually take the Latin ending -or, as do Latin verbs that passed through French (such as governor), but there are many exceptions (eraser, laborer, promoter, deserter, sailor, bachelor), some of which were conformed from Latin to English in late Middle English.

The use of -or and -ee in legal language (such as lessor/lessee) to distinguish actors and recipients of action has given the -or ending a tinge of professionalism, and this makes it useful in doubling words that have both a professional and non-professional sense (such as advisor/adviser, conductor/conducter, incubator/incubater, elevator/elevater).
-er (2) Look up -er at Dictionary.com
comparative suffix, from Old English -ra (masc.), -re (fem., neuter), from Proto-Germanic *-izon, *-ozon (cognates: Gothic -iza, Old Saxon -iro, Old Norse -ri, Old High German -iro, German -er), originally also with umlaut change in stem, but this was mostly lost in Old English by historical times and has now vanished (except in better and elder).
For most comparatives of one or two syllables, use of -er seems to be fading as the oral element in our society relies on more before adjectives to express the comparative; thus prettier is more pretty, cooler is more cool [Barnhart].
-er (3) Look up -er at Dictionary.com
suffix used to make jocular or familiar formations from common or proper names (soccer being one), first attested 1860s, English schoolboy slang, "Introduced from Rugby School into Oxford University slang, orig. at University College, in Michaelmas Term, 1875" [OED, with unusual precision].
-ery Look up -ery at Dictionary.com
word-forming element making nouns meaning "place for, art of, condition of, quantity of," from Middle English -erie, from Latin -arius (see -ary).
-escence Look up -escence at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "process or state of being," from Latin -escentia, from -escentem (see -escent).
-escent Look up -escent at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "beginning, becoming, tending to be," from Latin -escentem (nominative -escens), ending of present participles of verbs in -escere.
-ese Look up -ese at Dictionary.com
word-forming element from Old French -eis (Modern French -ois, -ais), from Vulgar Latin, from Latin -ensem, -ensis "belonging to" or "originating in."
-esque Look up -esque at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "resembling or suggesting the style of," from French -esque "like, in the manner of," from Italian -esco, which, with Medieval Latin -iscus, is from a Germanic source (compare Old High German -isc, German -isch; see -ish).
-ess Look up -ess at Dictionary.com
fem. suffix, from French -esse, from Late Latin -issa, from Greek -issa (cognate with Old English fem. agent suffix -icge); rare in classical Greek but more common later, in diakonissa "deaconess" and other Church terms picked up by Latin.
-etic Look up -etic at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "pertaining to," from Greek -etikos, adjectival suffix for nouns ending in -esis.
-ette Look up -ette at Dictionary.com
diminutive formation, from Old French -ette (fem.), used indiscriminately in Old French with masculine form -et. As a general rule, older words borrowed from French have -et in English, while ones taken in since 17c. have -ette. In use with native words since 20c., especially among persons who coin new product names, who tend to give it a sense of "imitation, a sort of." Also in words like sermonette, which, OED remarks, "can scarcely be said to be in good use, though often met with in newspapers."
e'en Look up e'en at Dictionary.com
variant spelling of even, now archaic or poetic.
e'er Look up e'er at Dictionary.com
variant spelling of ever, now archaic or poetic.
e- Look up e- at Dictionary.com
the later Romans evidently found words beginning in sc-, sp-, st- difficult or unpleasant to pronounce; in Late Latin forms begin to emerge in i- (such as ispatium, ispiritu), and from 5c. this shifted to e-. The development was carried into the Romanic languages, especially Old French, and the French words were modified further after 15c. by natural loss of -s- (the suppression being marked by an acute accent on the e-), while in other cases the word was formally corrected back to the Latin spelling (for example spécial). Hence French état for Old French estat for Latin status, etc.
e-commerce (n.) Look up e-commerce at Dictionary.com
by 1998, from electronic (compare e-mail) + commerce.
e-mail Look up e-mail at Dictionary.com
1982, short for electronic mail (1977; see electronic + mail (n.1)); this led to the contemptuous application of snail mail (1983) to the old system.
Even aerial navigation in 1999 was found too slow to convey and deliver the mails. The pneumatic tube system was even swifter, and with such facilities at hand it is not surprising that people in San Francisco received four daily editions of the Manhattan journals, although the distance between Sandy Hook and the Golden Gate is a matter of 3,600 miles. ["Looking Forward," Arthur Bird, 1899]
Associated Press style guide collapsed it to email 2011.
E. coli (n.) Look up E. coli at Dictionary.com
"bacteria inhabiting the gut of man and animals," short for Escherichia coli, named for German physician Theodor Escherich (1857-1911) + Latin genitive of colon "colon" (see colon (n.2)).
e.g. Look up e.g. at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of Latin exemplia gratia "for the sake of example."
e.t.a. Look up e.t.a. at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of estimated time (of) arrival, first attested 1939.
ea (n.) Look up ea at Dictionary.com
the usual Old English word for "river, running water;" still in use in Lancashire. See aqua-. "The standard word in place-names for river denoting a watercourse of greater size than a broc or a burna" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names].
each (adj., pron.) Look up each at Dictionary.com
Old English ælc "any, all, every, each (one)," short for a-gelic "ever alike," from a "ever" (see aye (2)) + gelic "alike" (see like (adj.)). From a common West Germanic expression *aiwo galika (cognates: Dutch elk, Old Frisian ellik, Old High German iogilih, German jeglich "each, every"). Originally used as we now use every (which is a compound of each) or all; modern use is by influence of Latin quisque. Modern spelling appeared late 1500s. Also see ilk, such, which.
each other Look up each other at Dictionary.com
reciprocal pronoun, originally in late Old English a phrase, with each as the subject and other inflected (as it were "each to other," "each from other," etc.).
eager (adj.) Look up eager at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "strenuous, ardent, fierce, angry," from Old French aigre "sour, acid; harsh, bitter, rough; eager greedy; lively, active, forceful," from Latin acrem (nominative acer) "keen, sharp, pointed, piercing; acute, ardent, zealous" (see acrid).

Meaning "full of keen desire" (early 14c.) seems to be peculiar to English. The English word kept an alternative meaning of "pungent, sharp-edged" till 19c. (as in Shakespeare's "The bitter clamour of two eager tongues," in "Richard II"). Related: Eagerly; eagerness.
eagle (n.) Look up eagle at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French egle, from Old Provençal aigla, from Latin aquila "black eagle," fem. of aquilus, often explained as "dark colored" (bird); see aquiline. The native term was erne. Golf score sense is first recorded by 1908 (according to old golf sources, because it "soars higher" than a birdie). The figurative eagle-eyed is attested from c.1600.
Eames Look up Eames at Dictionary.com
1946, type of modern office chair, named for U.S. architect and designer Charles Eames (1907-1978).
ear (n.1) Look up ear at Dictionary.com
"organ of hearing," Old English eare "ear," from Proto-Germanic *auzon (cognates: Old Norse eyra, Danish øre, Old Frisian are, Old Saxon ore, Middle Dutch ore, Dutch oor, Old High German ora, German Ohr, Gothic auso), from PIE *ous- with a sense of "perception" (cognates: Greek aus, Latin auris, Lithuanian ausis, Old Church Slavonic ucho, Old Irish au "ear," Avestan usi "the two ears").

The belief that itching or burning ears means someone is talking about you is mentioned in Pliny's "Natural History" (77 C.E.). Until at least the 1880s, even some medical men still believed piercing the ear lobes improved one's eyesight. Meaning "handle of a pitcher" is mid-15c. (but compare Old English earde "having a handle"). To be wet behind the ears "naive" is implied from 1914. Phrase walls have ears attested from 1610s.
ear (n.2) Look up ear at Dictionary.com
"grain part of corn," from Old English ear (West Saxon), æher (Northumbrian) "spike, ear of grain," from Proto-Germanic *akhaz (genitive *akhizaz; cognates: Dutch aar, Old High German ehir, German Ähre, Old Norse ax, Gothic ahs "ear of corn"), from PIE root *ak- "sharp, pointed" (source of Latin acus "husk of corn," Greek akoste "barley;" see acrid).
earache (n.) Look up earache at Dictionary.com
also ear-ache, 1789, from ear (n.1) + ache (n.).
eardrum (n.) Look up eardrum at Dictionary.com
also ear-drum, 1640s, from ear (n.1) + drum (n.).
earful (n.) Look up earful at Dictionary.com
"a piece of one's mind," 1917, from ear (n.1) + -ful. Ear-bash (v.) is Australian slang (1944) for "to talk inordinately" (to someone).
earl (n.) Look up earl at Dictionary.com
Old English eorl "brave man, warrior, leader, chief" (contrasted with ceorl "churl"), from Proto-Germanic *erlo-z, of uncertain origin. In Anglo-Saxon poetry, "a warrior, a brave man;" in later Old English, "nobleman," especially a Danish under-king (equivalent of cognate Old Norse jarl), then one of the viceroys under the Danish dynasty in England. After 1066 adopted as the equivalent of Latin comes (see count (n.)).
earldom (n.) Look up earldom at Dictionary.com
early 12c., from earl + -dom.
earlobe (n.) Look up earlobe at Dictionary.com
by 1786, from ear (n.1) + lobe. Earlier was ear lap (Old English had earlæppa "external ear").
early (adv.) Look up early at Dictionary.com
Old English ærlic "early," from ær "soon, ere" (see ere) + -lice, adverbial suffix (see -ly (2)). Compare Old Norse arliga "early." The early bird of the proverb is from 1670s. Related: Earlier; earliest.