Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • suffix A noun suffix denoting an act; a state or quality; as in error, fervor, pallor, candor, etc.
  • suffix A noun suffix denoting an agent or doer; as in auditor, one who hears; donor, one who gives; obligor, elevator. It is correlative to -ee. In general -or is appended to words of Latin, and -er to those of English, origin. See -er.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • suffix Suffix appended to words to create an agent noun, indicating a person who does something.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English -or, -our, from Old French -eor, -eur and Anglo-Norman -our, -ur, all from Latin -or, -ōr-.
Middle English -our, from Old French -eur, from Latin -or, -ōr-.

Examples

  • Nobody is surprised -or bothered- to see Robert De Niro or Al Pacino on the cover of a magazine.

    José Fernando López: Latino Covers

  • Maybe from the developing world we can redefine -or even improve- the concept of development.

    Paula Escobar Chavarría: Chilean Indignados: I'm Proud of Our Young Generation

  • I figure these days moms--and dads--need to grab a break whenever they can, whether on a business trip or traveling with the kids and there's nothing like a spa -or a stay in a hotel where you are pampered from check in to check out--to accomplish that goal.

    Eileen Ogintz: Spas Aren't Just For Grown Ups Anymore

  • After the initial titillation of getting away with something so devious in the name of vengeance, it is likely that I -or anyone for that matter- would be spending the next few weeks peeking out the window to see if the cops had shown up yet.

    Hayley Rose Horzepa: Forgiving My Rapist

  • She might get picked on in school a lot by the other kids -or even worse: poked.

    Dean Obeidallah: A Girl Named "Facebook"

  • Bond prices are so robust that in April, 70% of outstanding investment-grade corporate bonds traded above par—-or face value—compared with 61% in April last year, according to MarketAxess data.

    Bubble in Corporate Bonds? Portfolio Managers Mostly Say No

  • Mr. Atwood was skeptical that one bank could provide the best "execution"-or trades at the best available prices-70% of the time.

    Illinois Tracks Its Currency Costs

  • Polls offer only modest help in understanding consumer concerns and habits—-or which companies are doing the most “social good.”

    Beyond the Bottom Line

  • Were they real diamonds, rubies, emeralds—-or fakes?

    Heaven

  • When millions of people can't get the care they need to maintain their health - and the health of their children -or manage to afford critical, life saving care, is it conceivable that they might just find themselves in a situation a little more serious than having to pass up tickets to the All-Star game?

    Forbes.com: News

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