[ME -ier(e), var. of -yer(e) (cf. -YER), equiv. to -i- v. stem ending + -ere -ER1, prob. reinforced by OF -ier < L -arius -ARY (cf. SOLDIER)]-ier2a noun suffix occurring mainly in loanwords from French, often simply a spelling variant of -eer, with which it is etymologically identical (bombardier; brigadier; financier; grenadier); it is also found on an older and semantically more diverse group of loanwords that have stress on the initial syllable (barrier; courier; courtier; terrier). Recent loanwords from French may maintain the modern French pronunciation with loss of the final r sound (croupier; dossier; hotelier).
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