\ 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


adjective suffix or adverb suffix

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 From the Age Before Tools, through the short-lived but exciting Age of Tools, to the (yawn) Age of Learning, and into our current age, the Age A er the Age of Learning. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Read Charles Yu's first work of fiction since the National Book Award-winning Interior Chinatown," 5 Jan. 2021 Whether the investment is a DIY-er's dream or nightmare remains to be seen. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Otherwise normal house for sale hides nightmarish surprise: An entire abandoned jail," 3 Jan. 2021 Een jaar waarin er naar 2 jaar een keer niet verhuisd werd. Jason Lemon, ajc, "9 inspiring New Year’s resolution quotes that will be your 2021 motivation," 31 Dec. 2020 His face, too, is tastefully obscured, though the tattoos make the former One Direction-er easily identifiable: Hadid's trip down memory lane also included cameos from her famous friends! Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Gigi Hadid Shared a Never-Before-Seen Photo From the Day She Found Out She Was Pregnant," 28 Dec. 2020 One San Antonio couple is getting in the COVID - er, Christmas - spirit with their mask-wearing Santa Claus ornaments. ExpressNews.com, "Express Briefing: Saying goodbye to beloved San Antonio businesses," 23 Dec. 2020 The Browns host the Ravens in Week 14 before back-to-back games in New York, er, New Jersey. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL playoff picture after Week 13: Vikings in, Cardinals out of last NFC wild-card spot," 7 Dec. 2020 Within those rigid rectangles (or, er, millions of microcapsules of electronic ink), worlds unfold to comfort, teach, and entertain us. Ali Francis, SELF, "The 26 Best Books of 2020 (Which Would All Make Excellent Gifts)," 5 Dec. 2020 Safe to say, this year, like last, will end in Al and the tree becoming fronds — er, friends — once again. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Star Al Roker and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Have Reignited Their Twitter Feud," 2 Dec. 2020

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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Statistics for er

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Er.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/er. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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


adjective suffix or adverb suffix
\ 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on er

Nglish: Translation of er for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of er for Arabic Speakers

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