cvb aff. a suffix with the general sense “of, pertaining to, having qualities of,” occurring orig. in adjectives borrowed from Latin and formed from nouns denoting places (Roman; urban) or persons (Augustan), now commonly forming adjectives and nouns denoting affiliation with a place or membership in a group (Chicagoan; crustacean; Episcopalian); attached to personal names, it may additionally mean “contemporary with” (Elizabethan) or “proponent of” (Freudian). The suffix -an also occurs in personal nouns denoting one who engages in, practices, or works with the referent of the base word (comedian; electrician; historian). See -ian for relative distribution with that suffix. Compare -arian, -ician•Etymology: ME < L -ānus; or r. -ain, -en < OF < L II-anaff. chem. a suffix used in the names of organic chemical compounds, esp. polysaccharides:pentosan; xanthan[/ex]•Etymology: of uncert. orig.
From formal English to slang. 2014.