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From adjective suffix , or French .


  1. of or pertaining to; adjectival suffix appended to various words, often nouns, to make an adjective form. Often added to words of Latin origin, but used with other words also.
    line, lineal
    base, basal
    cranium, cranial
  2. Forming nouns, especially of verbal action.
    e.g. rival, proposal, denial
  3. the IUPAC nomenclature used in organic chemistry to form names of aldehydes containing the -(CO)H group. It was extracted from the word "aldehyde".

Usage notes

If the root word ends in l, the variant -ar is often used instead. Sometimes both forms are found: linear, lineal.