Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (dated) A suffix appended to words, chiefly verbs, to form female agent nouns.
- For masculine agent nouns ending in -or, the feminine equivalent ending in -rix is the etymologically consistent form; however, in some cases the common feminine form has changed to become the one ending in -ess instead. For the sake of example, consider that the common feminine form of actor is actress, and no longer the earlier form actrix.
- Relatively dated and not especially productive in modern English, where either gender-neutral terms or other suffixes, notably -ess, are generally preferred, as in actress rather than dated actrix.
- Notably used in dominatrix, and, due to the popularity of this term, has some other use in erotic contexts.
- Note that some of these derived terms may have been borrowed directly from Latin, rather than formed in English.
Other feminine affixes: