- -ary adjective and noun suffix, in most cases from L. -arius, -aria, -arium "connected with, pertaining to; the man engaged in," from PIE relational adjective suffix *-yo- "of or belonging to." It appears in words borrowed from Latin in Middle English. In later borrowings from Latin to French, it became -aire and passed into Middle English as -arie, subsequently -ary.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.