a suffix with the general sense "of the kind of, pertaining to, having the form or character of" that named by the stem, occurring in loanwords from Latin (autumnal; natural; pastoral), and productive in English on the Latin model, usually with bases of Latin origin (accidental; seasonal; tribal). Originally, -al1 was restricted to stems not containing an -l- (cf. -ar1); recent lapses in this rule have produced semantically distinct pairs, as familiar and familial. Cf. -ical, ial.
[ < L alis, -ale; often r. ME -el < OF]
a suffix forming nouns from verbs, usually verbs of French or Latin origin: denial; refusal.
[ < L -ale (sing.), -alia (pl.), nominalized neut. of -alis -AL1; often r. ME -aille < OF < L -alia]
Chem. a suffix indicating that a compound contains an aldehyde group: chloral.
[presumed to be short for ALDEHYDE]

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Universalium. 2010.

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