\ 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 syllable hotterdrier and of some adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllables completerbeautifuller
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 compound builder-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 To kick these things involving a manger off, the producers tapped a familiar face, er, hand to create the couch gag: Bill Plympton. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "See The Simpsons' 700th-episode couch gag," 18 Mar. 2021 On that note, Jane Danger, the national mixologist from Pernod Ricard USA, suspects drinkers will sub out green beer for green-er options. Kate Dingwall, Forbes, "With St. Patrick’s Day Approaching, Beverage Experts Predict The Top Drinks Of The Holiday," 16 Mar. 2021 Partly because her method made her washing machine work like brand-new again, and partly because folks might have finally realized that there's a reason their washing machine might be, er, a bit stinky. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "These $12 Tablets Are the Super Easy Trick To Cleaning Your Washing Machine," 11 Mar. 2021 Another eye-opening listing is a $555,000 two bedroom, two bathroom house with, er, open-concept bathrooms. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Exploring the Wild World of Weird Homes on Zillow Can Be a Cabin Fever Cure," 15 Mar. 2021 At Glover Park Grill, pasta means housemade cavatelli and sweet lump crab in a barge, er, bowl strewn with toasted breadcrumbs, lemon zest and parsley. Washington Post, "Glover Park Grill woos its neighborhood with all-American cooking," 12 Mar. 2021 For The Masked Singer season 5, Porcupine (er, Robopine that is) is doing what no other rodent has done before ... Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Who Is Porcupine (Robopine) on 'The Masked Singer'? Here's What Internet Detectives Are Saying," 11 Mar. 2021 Her subject matter and her image er ahead of her time. Jamila Woods, Rolling Stone, "Jamila Woods on the Doors That Betty Davis Opened," 10 Mar. 2021 Plus, this affordable option comes with a silicone handle holder, which is a lifesaver (er, hand saver). Mary Shannon Wells, Southern Living, "I Just Got Married, And These Are The Things I Use Most from My Registry," 10 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about er

Statistics for er

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Er.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/er. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for er

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 syllable hotterdrier and of some adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllables shallowerearlier
\ 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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!