a noun suffix, the feminine form of -et, occurring especially:

1. with the original diminutive force, as in cigarette.
2. in trademarks of imitations or substitutes, as in leatherette.
3. as a distinctively feminine ending, as in coquette, brunette, etc.
{French, feminine of -et -et}
Usage: The use of -ette as a feminine ending (as in usherette) is becoming rare as terms applying to both men and women (e.g. usher) become standard.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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