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[ee-uh n, ee-ahn, ahy-uh n] /ˈi ən, ˈi ɑn, ˈaɪ ən/
a male given name, Scottish form of John.


a suffix with the same meaning and properties as -an; -ian, is now the more productive of the two suffixes in recent coinages, especially when the base noun ends in a consonant: Orwellian; Washingtonian .
Origin of -ian
extracted from L loanwords in which -ānus -an is joined to stems ending in i Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Ian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And Ian's accidents were few, in comparison to his other experiences.

    The Wee Scotch Piper Madeline Brandeis
  • And Ian did not disappoint the happy hopes which called him.

    An Orkney Maid Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • Wherever she was then, Ian was there too, so that she was at a loss to understand her own sinister foreboding.

    The Invader Margaret L. Woods
  • All was void and still until she heard the voices of Thora and Ian.

    An Orkney Maid Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • Maybe ay, and maybe no, Ian; but I do want to know how they seem to you, those two yonder.

British Dictionary definitions for Ian


a variant of -an Etonian, Johnsonian
Word Origin
from Latin -iānus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Ian

masc. proper name, Scottish form of John.


variant of suffix -an used with stem endings in -i, from Latin -ianus (-anus). In Middle English, frequently -ien, from words borrowed via French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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