a suffix occurring in loanwords from Latin, originally diminutive nouns (capsule; globule; nodule) or noun derivatives of verbs (ligule).
< French < Latin-ulus, -ula, -ulum diminutive formative with nouns of the 1st and 2nd declensions ≪ *-el- (cf. -cle1, -elle, -ole1); the deverbal suffix -ulus, etc. (cf. cingulum, tumulus) is of distinct orig.