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a noun suffix occurring in loanwords from French, where it originally formed diminutives, now often with a derivative sense in which the diminutive force is lost (bagatelle; prunelle; rondelle); also in Anglicized forms of Latin words ending in -ella (organelle).
Origin of -elle
< French < Latin -ella, feminine of -ellus, forming diminutives corresponding to stems ending in -ul- -ule, -r- (see castellum), -n- (see patella) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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