\ 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 Except, er, swaggering Big Dan is actually a Florida law school grad, by way of a New Jersey prep school, who just last November was running for Congress in Nevada as a soft-spoken family man. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Grab a shovel. ‘Big Dan’ is running for Congress as a Texas cowboy," 6 Apr. 2021 Sunday was dreadful, this coming Sunday could be dreadful-er and the weeks that follow promise to be dreadful-est. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: 10 things from Cincinnati Bengals' loss to New York Giants," 4 Apr. 2021 This video will take you deep into the catacombs—er, honeycombs—of insect aging. Joel Goldberg, Science | AAAS, "How life span–shifting insects are reshaping aging research," 1 Apr. 2021 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

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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Er.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/er. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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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

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