Alternative formsEdit

  • -zão (after consonants, stressed vowels or hiatus, or as an alternative in any augmentative)
  • -aõ (obsolete)


Etymology 1Edit

From Vulgar Latin *-ōne, from the Latin accusative suffix -ōnem.


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

  1. forms the augmentative of nouns
    1. forms nouns, from nouns denoting things, meaning “big thing,” usually but not necessarily with the same gender
      livro (book) + -ãolivrão (big book)
      janela (window) + -ãojanelona (big window)
    2. used to refer to things affectionately
      filho (son) + -ãofilhão (used by a father to address his son, when he is proud of the son)
      amigo (friend) + -ãoamigão (a good friend; a true friend)
    3. forms nouns, from nouns, implying that the suffixed noun is powerful or good
      carro (car) + -ãocarrão (high-performance car)
      calor (heat) + -ãocalorão (intense heat)
      soco (punch) + -ãosocão (powerful punch)
  2. forms the masculine of animal names (whether the animal refers to females or to males and females)
    abelha (bee (any gender)) + -ãoabelhão (drone)
    cabra (she-goat) + -ãocabrão (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) + -ãocalção (shorts)
    agulha (needle) + -ãoagulhão (sharp rock on a riverbed)
    fogo (fire) + -ãofogão (stove)
  4. (Brazil, slang) forms nouns, from a numeral X divisible by ten and greater then thirty, meaning “someone in his Xs”
    quarenta (forty) + -ãoquarentão (someone in his forties)
  5. (Brazil, slang) forms nouns, from a numeral X, meaning “X amount of money”
    cinco (five) + -ãocincão (five bucks)
    mil (thousand) + -ãomilão (a thousand bucks)
  6. (somewhat informal) forms the augmentative of adjectives, roughly equivalent to English quite
    grande (big) + -ãograndão (quite big)
  7. forms nouns, from a verb X, meaning a strong or violent instance of doing X
    arrastar (to drag) + -ãoarrastão (an instance of violently dragging something)
    puxar (to pull) + -ãopuxão (a strong or violent pull)
    pisar (to step) + -ãopisão (a strong or violent step)
  • (augmentative marker): -ácio, -aço, -alhão, -arrão, -ázio, -eirão
  • (amount of money): pila

Etymology 2Edit

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


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

  1. (no longer productive) forms adjectives, from 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) + -ãovilão (villager)
    cidade (city) + -ãocidadão (citizen)
    Alentejo (a region in Portugal) + -ãoalentejão (relating to Alentejo”, “someone from Alentejo)

Etymology 3Edit

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) + -ãofalarão ((they) will speak)
    comer (to eat) + -ãocomerão ((they) will eat)
    sorrir (to smile) + -ãosorrirão ((they) will smile)


Etymology 4Edit



  1. Obsolete form of -am.

Usage notesEdit

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.

Last modified on 5 April 2014, at 17:45