Suppletion Definition

The occurrence of an allomorph of a morpheme which has no phonological similarity to the other allomorphs (Ex.: the -en of oxen, as opposed to a form ending in -s)
Webster's New World
The use of an unrelated word (suppletive form) in a paradigm (Ex.: went for the past tense of go)
Webster's New World
The morphological process by which such replacement occurs.
Webster's New World

The supplying of something lacking.


(grammar) The use of an unrelated word or phrase to supply inflected forms otherwise lacking, e.g. using “to be able" as the infinitive of “can", or “better" as the comparative of “good".


Origin of Suppletion

  • From Latin supplētus past participle of supplēre to supply supply

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Latin supplere (“to supply"), perfect stem supplet-, + -ion.

    From Wiktionary

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