a plural ending of nouns borrowed from Greek and Latin: phenomena; criteria; data; errata; genera.
a feminine singular ending of nouns borrowed from Latin and Greek, also used in Neo-Latin coinages to Latinize bases of any origin, and as a Latin substitute for the feminine ending -e of Greek words: anabaena; cinchona; pachysandra.
an ending of personal names forming feminines from masculines: Georgia; Roberta.
[ < L fem. -a (see -A2), as Claudia, fem. of Claudius]
a suffix designating the oxide of the chemical element denoted by the stem: alumina; ceria; thoria.
[prob. generalized from the -a of MAGNESIA]

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Universalium. 2010.

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