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1. Small; diminutive: kitchenette.
2. Female: usherette.
3. An imitation or inferior kind of cloth: leatherette.
[Middle English, from Old French, feminine of -et, -et.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
suffix forming nouns
1. small: cigarette; kitchenette.
2. female: majorette; suffragette.
3. (esp in trade names) imitation: Leatherette.
[from French, feminine of -et]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a noun suffix occurring orig. in loanwords from French (brunette; cigarette; coquette; etiquette); as an English suffix, -ette forms diminutives (kitchenette; novelette), distinctively feminine nouns (majorette; usherette), and names of imitation products (leatherette). Compare -et.
[< French, feminine of -et -et]
usage: English nouns in which -ette signifies a feminine role or identity have been perceived as implying inferiority or unimportance and are now generally avoided. Only (drum) majorette is still widely used, usu. indicating a young woman who twirls a baton with a marching band. The leader of such a band, male or female, is a drum major. See also -enne, -ess, -trix.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.