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Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ˈɐ̃w̃/, [ˈɐ̃ʊ̯̃]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Portuguese -on, from Vulgar Latin *-ōne, from Latin -ōnem. Akin to Spanish -ón, Italian -one and French -on, compare Romanian -oi.


-ão m (feminine -ona, plural -ões, feminine plural -onas)

  1. forms the augmentative of nouns
    Synonyms: -ácio, -aço, -alhão, -arrão, -ázio, -eirão
    1. forms nouns, from nouns denoting things, meaning “big thing,” usually but not necessarily with the same gender
      livro (book) + ‎-ão → ‎livrão (big book)
      janela (window) + ‎-ão → ‎janelona (big window)
    2. used to refer to things affectionately
      filho (son) + ‎-ão → ‎filhão (used by a father to address his son, when he is proud of the son)
      amigo (friend) + ‎-ão → ‎amigão (a good friend; a true friend)
    3. forms nouns, from nouns, implying that the suffixed noun is powerful or good
      carro (car) + ‎-ão → ‎carrão (high-performance car)
      calor (heat) + ‎-ão → ‎calorão (intense heat)
      soco (punch) + ‎-ão → ‎socão (powerful punch)
    4. in nouns that are formed from, or homonymous with, an adjective, it augments the quality expressed by the adjective
      cabeludo (long-haired (adjective); long-haired person (noun)) + ‎-ão → ‎cabeludão (person with very long hair)
  2. forms the masculine of animal names (whether the animal refers to females or to males and females)
    abelha (bee (any sex)) + ‎-ão → ‎abelhão (drone)
    cabra (she-goat) + ‎-ão → ‎cabrão (billy goat)
  3. forms nouns, from nouns, denoting an item of the same class as the suffixed noun, or which shares a characteristic with the suffixed noun
    calça (pants) + ‎-ão → ‎calção (shorts)
    agulha (needle) + ‎-ão → ‎agulhão (sharp rock on a riverbed)
    fogo (fire) + ‎-ão → ‎fogão (stove)
  4. (slang) forms nouns, from a numeral X divisible by ten and greater than thirty, meaning “someone in his Xs”
    quarenta (forty) + ‎-ão → ‎quarentão (someone in his forties)
  5. (Brazil, slang) forms nouns, from a numeral X, meaning “X amount of money” or “a bill worth X”
    cinco (five) + ‎-ão → ‎cincão (five bucks)
    mil (thousand) + ‎-ão → ‎milão (a thousand bucks)
  6. (somewhat informal) forms the augmentative of adjectives, roughly equivalent to English quite
    grande (big) + ‎-ão → ‎grandão (quite big)
  7. forms nouns, from a verb X, meaning a strong or violent instance of doing X
    arrastar (to drag) + ‎-ão → ‎arrastão (an instance of violently dragging something)
    puxar (to pull) + ‎-ão → ‎puxão (a strong or violent pull)
    pisar (to step) + ‎-ão → ‎pisão (a strong or violent step)
  8. (informal, derogatory) forms nouns, from a verb X, meaning an agent of such verb
    fugir (to flee) + ‎-ão → ‎fujão (someone who flees from something)
    cagar (to shit) + ‎-ão → ‎cagão (someone who shits upon something, a coward)
    mijar (to piss) + ‎-ão → ‎mijão (someone who wets themself)
    arregar (to back off) + ‎-ão → ‎arregão (someone who backs off from a challenge, a quitter)

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Portuguese -ão, from Latin -ānus (-ian). Doublet of -ano.


-ão m (feminine , plural -ãos, feminine plural -ãs)

  1. (no longer productive) forms adjectives, nouns and proper nouns referring to a location or type of location, meaning “of or pertaining to that location” and nouns meaning “someone from that location”
    vila (village) + ‎-ão → ‎vilão (villager)
    cidade (city) + ‎-ão → ‎cidadão (citizen)
    Beira (a region in Portugal) + ‎-ão → ‎beirão (relating to Beira”, “someone from Beira)
    Synonyms: -ano, -ense

Etymology 3[edit]


-ão m (plural -ões)

  1. -on (forming nouns denoting subatomic particles)
    magnete (magnet) + ‎-ão → ‎magnetão (magneton)

Etymology 4[edit]

From Old Portuguese -an, from an, from Latin habent, third-person plural present indicative of habeō (I have).



  1. forms the third-person plural future indicative, from the infinitive of verbs
    falar (to speak) + ‎-ão → ‎falarão ((they) will speak)
    comer (to eat) + ‎-ão → ‎comerão ((they) will eat)
    sorrir (to smile) + ‎-ão → ‎sorrirão ((they) will smile)

Etymology 5[edit]




  1. Obsolete form of -am.

Usage notes[edit]

Some words ending in -ão pluralise as -ães. However, in these cases the -ão is not a suffix and derives from Old Portuguese -an, from Latin -ānem, -anēs.

mão derives from Latin manus and is pluralised with -s:

See also[edit]