\ 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 As in the trashcan-banging, sign-stealing Trashtos, er, Astros. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Astros get victory but not the boos they deserve in first road game of 2020," 1 Aug. 2020 And by being virtual, the Fringe presents the artists with new difficulties, er, opportunities to grow. Rohan Preston, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Fringe Festival tries to prove that theater can thrive online," 30 July 2020 The popular pick has collected hundreds of 5-star reviews from users who swear it’s fixed every sleeping problem under the sun, er moon, from snoring to sleep apnea. Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "This Pillow Wedge Is a Go-To for Anyone With Sleep Apnea, Acid Reflux, or Back Pain—and It’s on Sale," 7 July 2020 Indoor smart gardens are having their moment in the sun — er, under the LED lamp — with companies reporting unprecedented sales and even back orders. Mandy Behbehani, SFChronicle.com, "Pandemic gardening moves indoors with a smart garden in the kitchen," 3 July 2020 The Watchdog was on vacation – er, staycation – last week. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "Dear Watchdog: I’m frustrated with [fill in the blank]. What do I do?," 2 July 2020 That would mean, for example, the Canadiens have a 12.5% chance of winning the right to add hometown-er Alexis Lafrenière to their lineup. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings mailbag: Anger, annoyance and despair after sour NHL draft lottery," 2 July 2020 To counter the blazing sun and humidity of the … er … dog days, Arcadia Trail gear is specifically designed to keep our favorite animals cool, dry and happy. Michael Park, CNN Underscored, "Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear," 30 June 2020 In their garage — er, Club Quarantine — the Torchia family chatted, danced and drank together and (virtually) with family and friends who Zoomed and FaceTimed Jack for the occasion. Kieran Dahl, Washington Post, "These creative quarantiners turned their homes into the bars and restaurants they were missing," 30 June 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

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Er.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/er. Accessed 9 Aug. 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


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)

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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

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