Meaning of -ANT in English
a suffix forming adjectives and nouns from verbs, occurring originally in French and Latin loanwords ( pleasant; constant; servant ) and productive in English on this model; -ant has the general sense "characterized by or serving in the capacity of" that named by the stem ( ascendant; pretendant ), esp. in the formation of nouns denoting human agents in legal actions or other formal procedures ( tenant; defendant; applicant; contestant ). In technical and commercial coinages, -ant is a suffix of nouns denoting impersonal physical agents ( propellant; lubricant; deodorant ). In general, -ant can be added only to bases of Latin origin, with a very few exceptions, as coolant. See also -ent .
[ -ant-, prp. s. of verbs in -are; in many words -ant -ant- or -ent- (see -ENT); akin to ME, OE -and-, -end-, prp. suffix ]
Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary. Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House . 2012