a suffix used in the formation of names of classes and orders: Crustacea.

< Latin, neuter pl, with collective meaning, of -āceus. See -aceous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
suffix forming plural proper nouns
denoting animals belonging to a class or order: Crustacea (class); Cetacea (order)
[New Latin, from Latin, neuter plural of -āceus-aceous]

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

suffix denoting orders and classes in zoology, from L. -acea, neut. pl. of -aceus "belonging to, of the nature of" (enlarged from adj. suffix -ax, gen. -acis); neut. pl. because of a presumed animalia, a neuter plural noun. Thus, crustacea "shellfish" are *crustacea animalia "crusty animals." In botany,
the suffix is -aceae, from the fem. pl. of -aceus, with reference to L. plantae, which is a fem. plural.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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