- 1) cvb a suffix forming adjectives from other parts of speech, occurring orig. 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) chem.a suffix, specialized in opposition to -ous 2), used to show the higher of two valences:ferric chloride[/ex]3) cvb a noun suffix occurring in loanwords from Greek, where such words were orig. adjectival (critic; magic; music)•Etymology: ME -ic, -ik < L -icus or Gk -ikos
From formal English to slang. 2014.