a noun-forming suffix occurring originally in loanwords from French (buccaneer; mutineer; pioneer ) and productive in the formation of English nouns denoting persons who produce, handle, or are otherwise significantly associated with the referent of the base word (auctioneer; engineer; mountaineer; pamphleteer ); now frequently pejorative (profiteer; racketeer ). Compare -ary, -er2, -ier2.

< French, Middle French -ier (Old French < Latin -ārius -ary as suffix of personal nouns); in some nouns replacing earlier suffixes (see engineer, charioteer) or the French suffix -aire -aire (see musketeer, volunteer)

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World English Dictionary
-eer or -ier
1.  (forming nouns) indicating a person who is concerned with or who does something specified: auctioneer; engineer; profiteer; mutineer
2.  (forming verbs) to be concerned with something specified: electioneer
[from Old French -ier, from Latin -arius-ary]
-ier or -ier
[from Old French -ier, from Latin -arius-ary]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

Anglicized form of Fr. -ier, from L. -arius, -iarius.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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