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.

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