Meaning of -ATE in English
a suffix occurring in loanwords from Latin, its English distribution paralleling that of Latin. The form originated as a suffix added to a- stem verbs to form adjectives ( separate ). The resulting form could also be used independently as a noun ( advocate ) and came to be used as a stem on which a verb could be formed ( separate; advocate; agitate ). In English the use as a verbal suffix has been extended to stems of non-Latin origin: calibrate; acierate.
[ -atus (masc.), -ata (fem.), -atum (neut.), equiv. to -a- thematic vowel + -tus, -ta, -tum ptp. suffix ]
a specialization of -ATE 1 , used to indicate a salt of an acid ending in -IC, added to a form of the stem of the element or group: nitrate; sulfate. Compare -ITE 1 .
[ prob. orig. in NL phrases, as plumbum acetatum salt produced by the action of acetic acid on lead ]
a suffix occurring orig. in nouns borrowed from Latin, and in English coinages from Latin bases, that denote offices or functions ( consulate; triumvirate; pontificate ), as well as institutions or collective bodies ( electorate; senate ); sometimes extended to denote a person who exercises such a function ( magistrate; potentate ), an associated place ( consulate ), or a period of office or rule ( protectorate ). Joined to stems of any origin, ate 3 signifies the office, term of office, or territory of a ruler or official ( caliphate; khanate; shogunate ).
[ -atus (gen. -atus ), generalized from v. ders., as auguratus office of an augur ( augura(re) to foretell by augury + -tus suffix of v. action), construed as der. of augur AUGUR ]
Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary. Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House . 2012