Middle English Dictionary Entry

-esse suf.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Derivational suffix, forming nouns for female beings or agents from nouns denoting male beings or agents. (a) Adopted from OF: e.g. cǒunt-esse, duch-esse, prīor-esse, abb-esse [OF abb(e)-esse: abbé abbot], hōst-esse, līon-esse; (b) formed on ME nouns denoting persons: god-esse, frẹ̄nd-esse; (c) formed on ME agent nouns in -ē̆r(e: hunter-esse, dauncer-esse, charmer-esse; cp. -(e)resse.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Change headform to -es(se.
Note: Forms: Also -esce, -esh, -isse.
Note: See humbles(se īdeles(se: need a new sense to accommodate forms like these derived from an adjective and -es(se, unless (at least in these two cases) -es(se actually represents assimilation of the -n- of the suffix -nes(se to to -l-. Note that the headwords humblenes(se and īdelnes(se also exist in the MED.
Note: See venǧeresse n.--belongs to sense (c).
Note: Note variant forms vengerous, vengerousses in the ?a1500 quot. for venǧeresse n. whose endings may belong under -es(se suf. (or perh. to -e(resse suf.).--notes per MLL