\ ˈə How to pronounce er (audio) , ˈä usually with prolonged vowel How to pronounce er (audio) , nonstandard ˈər How to pronounce er (audio) \

Definition of er

 (Entry 1 of 5)

used to express hesitation

Definition of Er (Entry 2 of 5)


Definition of ER (Entry 3 of 5)

1 earned run
2 emergency room

Definition of -er (Entry 4 of 5)

used to form the comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs of one syllablehotterdrier and of some adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllablescompleterbeautifuller
variants: or less commonly -ier or -yer

Definition of -er (Entry 5 of 5)

1a : person occupationally connected with furrier lawyer
b : person or thing belonging to or associated with header old-timer
c : native of : resident of cottager New Yorker
d : one that has three-decker
e : one that produces or yields porker
2a : one that does or performs (a specified action) batter sometimes added to both elements of a compoundbuilder-upper
b : one that is a suitable object of (a specified action) broiler
3 : one that is foreigner in all senses -yer in a few words after w, -ier in a few other words, otherwise -er

Examples of er in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Interjection The latest culprit is a creature called the Japanese crazy worm (Amynthas agrestis), which multiplies like, er, crazy and damages the soil structure through mass feeding. Adrian Higgins, idahostatesman, "The zoo beneath our feet: We’re only beginning to understand soil’s hidden world," 23 Aug. 2017 But Taraji P. Henson is one tough, er, cookie, and her latest collaboration with M.A.C will awaken your appetite for bronze lips. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Taraji P. Henson Will Convince You to Wear Copper Lipstick," 17 Aug. 2017 Model Chrissy Teigen is an SLT-er, as is actress Sofia Vergara. Elizabeth Wellington, Philly.com, "The latest fitness craze to hit Philly hurts in a good way," 15 Aug. 2017 The drama started early this season, with hopeful woo-er DeMario’s shameful exit after his girlfriend came on set to berate him for lying to Rachel — and the show’s massive viewership — about his intentions. Ikya Kandula, Longreads, "Failed Promises: A ‘Bachelorette’ Reading List," 8 Aug. 2017 The sea creature, which some thought was a sea lion and others were convinced was an elephant seal, waddled past a cafe and posed for seal-fies — er, selfies. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Australian Sea Lion Escapes From the Ocean to Play Tourist for the Day," 1 Aug. 2017 For now, the hare—er, Uber—remains very much in the lead, and any fairy-tale ending is years away. Michal Lev-ram, Fortune, "How Lyft Could Defeat Uber," 19 July 2017 If you haven’t seen it in for-ev-er, head to the Autry lawn for an outdoor screening— Marielle Wakim, Los Angeles Magazine, "The 5 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Weekend," 14 July 2017 Here's a look at the full, um, er, eye-catching ensemble. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Bella Hadid struts Paris runway in completely sheer top," 5 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'er.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of er


1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for er

Adjective suffix or adverb suffix

Middle English -er, -ere, -re, from Old English -ra (in adjectives), -or (in adverbs); akin to Old High German -iro, adjective comparative suffix, Latin -ior, Greek -iōn

Noun suffix

Middle English -er, -ere, -ier, -iere; partly from Old English -ere (from Latin -arius); partly from Old French -ier, -iere, from Latin -arius, -aria, -arium -ary; partly from Anglo-French -ere, from Latin -ator -or — more at -ary, -or

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Cite this Entry

“Er.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-er. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for er

How to pronounce -er (audio) How to pronounce -er (audio) How to pronounce -er (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of er

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used when you are speaking and you are not sure what to say

English Language Learners Definition of -er (Entry 2 of 2)

: person having a particular job
: person or thing belonging to or associated with something
: native of : resident of
\ ər \

Kids Definition of -er

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used to form the comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs of one syllablehotterdrier and of some adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllablesshallowerearlier
\ ər \
variants: also -ier \ ē-​ər , yər \ or -yer \ yər \

Kids Definition of -er (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person who has a particular job hatter lawyer
2 : a person or thing belonging to or associated with old-timer
3 : a native of : resident of New Yorker
4 : a person or thing that has
5 : a person or thing that produces thriller
6 : a person or thing that performs a specified action reporter
7 : a person or thing that is suitable for a specified action broiler
8 : a person or thing that is foreigner

Medical Definition of Er

 (Entry 1 of 2)


Medical Definition of ER (Entry 2 of 2)

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More from Merriam-Webster on er

Spanish Central: Translation of er

Nglish: Translation of er for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of er for Arabic Speakers

Comments on er

What made you want to look up er? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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