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borrowed from French, from chanter "to sing" (going back to Old French) + -euse, feminine agent suffix, from feminine of -eux, adjective suffix, going back to Old French -eus, earlier -os, -ous, going back to Latin -ōsus-ose entry 1 — more at chant entry 1
The feminine adjectival suffix -euse developed into an agent suffix in later Middle French, when, in line with the general loss of final consonants, the agent suffix -eur lost its consonant and became completely homonymous with the masculine adjectival suffix -eux; the two suffixes being identified, -euse came into use as a feminine complement to -eur. The restoration of final r in the suffix -eur has once again separated the suffixes.