-ic

-ic

1.
a suffix forming adjectives from other parts of speech, occurring originally in Greek and Latin loanwords (metallic; poetic; archaic; public ) and, on this model, used as an adjective-forming suffix with the particular senses “having some characteristics of” (opposed to the simple attributive use of the base noun) (balletic; sophomoric ); “in the style of” (Byronic; Miltonic ); “pertaining to a family of peoples or languages” (Finnic; Semitic; Turkic ).
2.
Chemistry. a suffix, specialized in opposition to -ous, used to show the higher of two valences: ferric chloride.
3.
a noun suffix occurring chiefly in loanwords from Greek, where such words were originally adjectival (critic; magic; music ).

Origin:
Middle English -ic, -ik < Latin -icus; in many words representing the cognate Greek -ikos (directly or through L); in some words replacing -ique < French < Latin -icus

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World English Dictionary
-ic
 
suffix forming adjectives
1.  See also -ical of, relating to, or resembling: allergic; Germanic; periodic
2.  Compare -ous (in chemistry) indicating that an element is chemically combined in the higher of two possible valence states: ferric; stannic
 
[from Latin -icus or Greek -ikos; -ic also occurs in nouns that represent a substantive use of adjectives (magic) and in nouns borrowed directly from Latin or Greek (critic, music)]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

-ic
adj. suffix, from Fr. -ique, from L. -icus, which in many cases represents Gk. -ikos "in the manner of; pertaining to." From PIE *-(i)ko, which also yielded Slavic -isku, adj. suffix indicating origin, the source of the -sky (Rus. -skii) in many surnames.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

-ic suff.

  1. Of, relating to, or characterized by: carbonic.

  2. Having a valence higher than that of a specified element in compounds or ions named with adjectives ending in -ous: ferric.

  3. Of or relating to an acid: sulfuric acid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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