occurring originally in adjectives
borrowed from Latin, formed from nouns
denoting places (Roman; urban)
or persons (Augustan),
and now productively forming English adjectives by extension of the Latin pattern. Attached to geographic names, it denotes provenance or membership (American; Chicagoan; Tibetan),
the latter sense now extended to membership in social classes, religious denominations, etc., in adjectives formed from various kinds of noun
bases (Episcopalian; pedestrian; Puritan; Republican)
and membership in zoological taxa (acanthocephalan; crustacean).
Attached to personal names, it has the additional senses “contemporary with” (Elizabethan; Jacobean)
or “proponent of” (Hegelian; Freudian)
the person specified by the noun base. The suffix -an,
and its variant -ian
also occurs in a set
of personal nouns, mainly loanwords from French, denoting one who engages in, practices, or works with the referent of the base noun (comedian; grammarian; historian; theologian);
this usage is especially productive with nouns ending in -ic, (electrician; logician; technician).
for relative distribution with that suffix.