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English definition of “-er”

-er

suffix uk   /r/ us    //

-er suffix (PERFORMER)

(also -or) added to some verbs to form nouns that refer to people or things that do that particular activity: a singer (= a person who sings) a swimmer (= a person who swims) a dishwasher (= a machine or person that washes dishes) an actor (= a person who acts)

-er suffix (SPECIALIST)

added to the names of particular subjects to form nouns that refer to people who have knowledge about or are studying that subject: a philosopher (= a person who knows about/studies philosophy) an astronomer (= a person who knows about/studies astronomy)

-er suffix (FROM A PLACE)

added to the names of particular places to form nouns referring to people who come from those places: a Londoner (= a person who comes from London) a northerner (= a person who comes from the north)

-er suffix (INVOLVED WITH)

added to nouns or adjectives to form nouns referring to people who are connected or involved with that particular thing: a pensioner (= a person who receives a pension) first graders (= children who are in the first grade of an American school)

-er suffix (CHARACTERISTICS)

added to nouns to form nouns or adjectives referring to people or things that have those particular characteristics: a double-decker (= a bus with two decks) a big-spender (= someone who spends a lot of money)
(Definition of -er suffix from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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