Master The Suffix -ANT (Real Examples + Free PDF download)

Have you ever noticed that many words in the English language end in the letters -ant? My English students have. The suffix -ant is a common word ending that is used to create new words with specific meanings. After some research, I put together this blog post to give you a better understanding of how this suffix works. Now you will be able to recognize it in words you encounter every day.

The suffix -ant is used in English to form adjectives and nouns that describe a person or thing that performs a particular action OR has a particular quality. It can be added to verbs and nouns to create new words with specific meanings.
Assist – assistant
Defy – defiant

Keep reading for definitions and lots of real example sentences. As an added bonus, there’s a free PDF download that provides a list of words that use the suffix -ant with live links from the post. This resource can be a handy reference tool for anyone looking to improve their vocabulary. You can find the download link at the bottom of the page. 

The Suffix -ANT (Meaning)

The suffix -ant is combined with words to make adjectives that mean – that is or does something

The adjective significant means something that signifies. Significant is made from the verb signify. 

  • The birth of my daughter was the most significant event in my life. 

The suffix -ant is also used to form new nouns that mean – a person or thing that

An assistant is a person that assists.

  • Wanda has worked as a dental assistant for 11 years. 

The Suffix -ANT (An Easy Guide)

  • Verbs that end in -ate often use the suffix -ant to indicate a person or thing that performs an action. For example, dominate becomes dominant, deviate becomes deviant, and stimulate becomes stimulant.
  • Verbs that end in -y often drop the y and add -iant to indicate a person or thing that performs an action. For example, defy becomes defiant, and comply becomes compliant.
  • Nouns ending in -ANCE will sometimes have an adjective form that ends with -ANT. For example, brilliance becomes brilliant, and relevance becomes relevant

*NOTE* There are exceptions and irregularities to these rules, and some words may follow different patterns. However, understanding these basic rules can help you identify and understand many words that use the suffix -ant.

Commonly Confused Suffixes: -ant vs. -ent 

Word + ANTNew Word
consultconsultant – an expert who consults
relaxrelaxant – ​a drug that makes the body relax
Verb ending in -ATE Adjective
dominate dominant
stimulate stimulant
Verbs ending with -y(y) becomes (i) Adjective
Nouns with -ANCEAdjective

The Suffix -ANT (Real Examples)

The suffix -ant examples


abundant – existing in large quantities; more than enough

・There is abundant wildlife in the forest behind my school.

arrogant – behaving in a proud, unpleasant way, showing little thought for other people

・Don’t be arrogant and think you’re better than everyone else.

brilliant – extremely clever or impressive/very intelligent or showing a lot of skill/(of light or colors) very bright

・Mason’s brilliant idea helped our group win the science fair.

buoyant – floating, able to float, or able to keep things floating

・A good life jacket will help you stay buoyant if the boat goes under. 

cognizant – ​having knowledge or understanding of something

・You need to be cognizant of the rules before you start playing the game.

compliant – in agreement with a set of rules

・It’s important to be compliant with the school dress code.

defiant – ​openly refusing to obey somebody/something, sometimes in an aggressive way

・The defiant student refused to follow the teacher’s instructions.

deviant – ​different from what most people consider to be normal and acceptable

・His deviant behavior got him in trouble with the law.

The suffix -ant examples - DEVIANT

distant – far away in space or time

・My time at summer camp was never enjoyable, now it’s just a distant memory.

dominant – more important, powerful, or easy to notice than other things

・The lion is a dominant predator in the African savanna.

elegant – (of people or their behavior) attractive and showing a good sense of style

・She wore an elegant dress to the formal dance.

Adding the prefix in- makes the adjective:

inelegant – ​not attractive

・Eating with your mouth open is an inelegant habit.

Learn the prefix in- and more @ 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

errant – doing something that is wrong; not behaving in an acceptable way

・An errant soccer ball sailed over the fence and a hit a car parked on the street.

extravagant – spending a lot more money or using a lot more of something than you can afford or than is necessary

・He spent an extravagant amount of money on his new car.

exuberant – full of energy, excitement, and happiness

・The exuberant puppy wagged its tail and licked our faces.

flippant – showing that you do not take something as seriously as other people think you should

・She made a flippant comment that hurt her friend’s feelings.

fire-retardant – ​that makes a fire burn more slowly

・The walls of the safe are made with fire-retardant materials. 

hesitant – slow to speak or act because you feel uncertain, embarrassed or unwilling

・He was hesitant to try the new food but ended up loving it.

ignorant – not having or showing much knowledge or information about things; not educated/with very bad manners

・Some people are ignorant about the struggles of others who are different from them.

malignant -​ (of a tumor or disease) that cannot be controlled and is likely to cause death

・Unfortunately, the tests showed that the tumor was malignant

migrant – (of a person) moving from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions

・This part of the country has a large seasonal migrant population, who only work during the harvest months in autumn. 

mutant – (of a living thing) different in some way from others of the same kind because of a change in its genetic structure 

・Scientists have found a mutant strain of the virus that can resist vaccinations. 

The suffix -ant examples - MUTANT

observant – good at noticing things around you

・The observant detective noticed a hidden clue that helped solve the case.

pleasant – fun, attractive, or giving pleasure/friendly and polite

・The weather was pleasant today. It was the perfect day to spend in the park. 

Adding the prefix un- makes the adjective:

unpleasant – not pleasant or comfortable

・The smell of rotten eggs was very unpleasant and made us feel sick.

Learn the prefix un- and more @ 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

predominant – ​most obvious or easy to notice

・In most parts of the world, English is the predominant language spoken in business and education.

pursuant – according to or following something, especially a rule or law

Pursuant to the school’s dress code, male students must always wear a tie and jacket.

radiant – ​showing great happiness, love or health/​giving a warm bright light

・The sun was radiant and bright in the clear blue sky.

relevant – closely connected with the subject you are discussing or the situation you are in

・My interviewer asked me if I had any relevant experience that would help me do the job.

irrelevant – not important to or connected with a situation

・Our boss ignored Peter’s irrelevant question and continued with the meeting.

reliant – needing somebody/something in order to survive, be successful, etc.

・The organization is reliant on charitable donations. 

reluctant – hesitating before doing something because you do not want to do it or because you are not sure that it is the right thing to do

・Once in custody, the suspect was reluctant to answer any questions.

repentant – feeling or showing that you are sorry for something wrong that you have done

・The repentant thief returned the stolen items and apologized for his actions.

Adding the prefix un- makes the adjective:

unrepentant – ​showing no shame about your actions or beliefs

・The unrepentant criminal showed no remorse for his crimes.

Learn the prefix un- and more @ 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

resistant – not affected by something; able to resist something

・New antibiotics are always being developed to fight drug-resistant bacteria.

Common compound words with resistant

resonant – (of sound) deep, clear, and continuing for a long time

・The resonant sound of the drum echoed throughout the room.

resultant – ​caused by the thing that has just been mentioned

・Members of the government believe that after lowering taxes the resultant increase in consumer spending will boost the economy. 

The suffix -ant examples - RESULTANT

significant – large or important enough to have an effect or to be noticed

・The test results were excellent and showed a significant improvement in the students’ abilities.

insignificant – not big or valuable enough to be considered important

・We shouldn’t waste time on issues that are insignificant

tolerant – able to accept what other people say or do even if you do not agree with it

・A good leader is tolerant of different ideas from their citizens.

Adding the prefix in- makes the adjective:

intolerant – (disapproving) not willing to accept ideas or ways of behaving that are different from your own

・The intolerant are weak and feel the need to make fun of others who were different from them.

Learn the prefix in- and more @ 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

triumphant – very successful in a way that causes great pleasure

・The team was triumphant and celebrated their victory with a parade down Main street.

vacant – (of a seat, hotel room, house, etc.) empty; not being used

・The hotel room was vacant and available for guests to rent.

variant – slightly different in form or type from something else

・The artist created a variant version of the painting with a darker color scheme.

vigilant – ​very careful to notice any signs of danger or trouble

・The vigilant security guard kept watch to ensure everyone’s safety.


accountant – ​a person whose job is to keep or check financial accounts

・My mom works as an accountant at a big company.

The suffix -ant examples - ACCOUNTANT

antidepressant – ​a drug used to treat the illness depression

・Some people take antidepressant medication to help with their mood.

antiperspirant – ​a substance that people use, especially under their arms, to prevent or reduce sweat

・I need to wear antiperspirant to stay dry during gym class.

applicant – a person who makes a formal request for something (= applies for it), especially for a job, a place at a college or university, etc.

・Diane was a strong applicant for the scholarship.

assailant – a person who attacks somebody, especially physically

・The police caught the assailant after a long chase.

assistant – a person who helps or supports somebody, usually in their job

・My teacher’s assistant helped me with my math homework. He is very kind.

attendant – a person whose job is to serve or help people in a public place

・The flight attendant gave us snacks and drinks on the plane.

claimant – a person who claims something because they believe they have a right to it

・The claimant argued that the car accident was the other driver’s fault and that the other driver should pay the repair costs.

combatant – ​a person or group involved in fighting in a war or battle

・The combatants fought bravely in the war.

Adding the prefix non- makes the noun:

non-combatant – a member of the armed forces who does not actually fight in a war, for example, an army doctor

・Doctors and nurses are noncombatants who help the wounded in the war.

Learn the prefix non- and more @ 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

complainant – a person who makes a formal complaint against somebody in court

・The complainant accused his neighbor of damaging his fence.

confidant – a person that you trust and who you talk to about private or secret things

・I told my best friend, who is my confidant, about my secret crush.

consultant – a person who knows a lot about a particular subject and is employed to give advice about it to other people

・A marketing consultant gave us advice on how to increase our sales.

contaminant – a substance that makes something impure

Contaminants in the water made it unsafe to drink.

The suffix -ant examples - CONTAMINANT

contestant – a person who takes part in a contest or competition

・The contestant sang a beautiful song and won first place in the competition.

coolant – a liquid that is used for cooling an engine, a nuclear reactor, etc.

・The coolant in the car’s engine helps to regulate its temperature.

debutant – ​a person who is making their first public appearance, especially in sport or films

・She was nervous about her debutant ball, but it ended up being a lot of fun.

decongestant – a medicine that helps somebody with a cold to breathe more easily by unblocking their nose

・My decongestant helped me breathe better when I had a bad cold.

Learn more about the prefix DE- @ 110 Words with The Prefix DE- (Free 8-page PDF + Video)

defendant – the person in a trial who is accused of committing a crime, or who is being sued by another person

・The defendant was found guilty of the crime and sentenced to jail.

deodorant – ​a substance that people put on their bodies to prevent or hide unpleasant smells

・I need to put on deodorant after my shower so I don’t smell bad.

dependant – a person, especially a child, who depends on another person for a home, food, money, etc. *NOTE – This word is also spelled dependent, especially in North America.

・I’ve been taking care of my little brother for the past year so I can list him as a dependent on my tax return. 

descendant – a person’s descendants are their children, their children’s children, and all the people who live after them who are related to them

・My grandmother loves to tell stories about our family’s descendants who came to America on a ship.

deviant – ​a person who behaves differently from what most people to consider to be normal and acceptable

・Prisons are supposed to keep law-abiding citizens safe from criminal deviants

disinfectant – ​a substance that kills bacteria, used for cleaning

・We used disinfectant to clean the kitchen after cooking chicken. Raw chicken has lots of dangerous bacteria. 

Learn more about the prefix DIS- and more @ 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

emigrant – a person who leaves their country to live permanently in another

・My grandfather was an emigrant who left Europe to start a new life in Canada.

entrant – a person or group that has recently joined a profession, university, business, etc./a person or an animal that enters a race or a competition; a person that enters an exam

・The entrants submitted their artwork to the school art competition.

expectant – used to describe somebody who is going to have a baby soon or become a father

・The expectant mother was excited to welcome her new baby.

hydrant – a pipe in the street through which water can be sent using a pump in order to put out fires or to clean the streets

・It’s illegal to park your car in front of a fire hydrant. It makes it difficult for firemen to connect their hoses in case of a fire. 

The suffix -ant examples - HYDRANT

immigrant – a person who has come to live permanently in a different country from the one they were born in

・My ancestors were immigrants who came to America in search of a better life.

informant – a person who gives secret information about somebody/something to the police or the media

・The informant told the police about the criminal’s plans.

inhabitant – ​a person or an animal that lives in a particular place

・The inhabitants of the small town knew each other by name.

irritant – a substance that makes part of your body painful

・A chemical irritant from the lab got on the technician’s skin causing a rash. 

litigant – a person who is making or defending a claim in court

・The litigant hired a lawyer to represent him in court.

lubricant – a substance, for example oil, that you put on surfaces or parts of a machine so that they move easily and smoothly

・Charlie sprayed some lubricant on the door hinge to stop it from squeaking.

merchant – a person who buys and sells goods in large quantities, especially one who imports and exports goods

・The merchant sold all kinds of goods at the market.

migrant – a person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions

・Our country needs to open its borders to skilled migrants willing to come here and work. 

militant – a person who uses, or is willing to use, force or strong pressure to achieve their aims, especially to achieve social or political change

・The militant group protested against the government’s policies.

mutant – a living thing with qualities that are different from its parents’ qualities because of a change in its genetic structure

・Scientists created a mutant of the protein in the lab. 

occupant – a person who lives or works in a particular house, room, building, etc.

・The occupant of the house was not home when the fire started.

oxidant – a substance that makes another substance combine with oxygen

・The oxidant in the fruit turns brown when it is exposed to air.

Adding the prefix anti– makes the noun:

antioxidant –  a substance such as vitamin C or E that removes dangerous molecules, etc., such as free radicals from the body

Antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries are good for your health.

Learn more @ 9 Common Negative Prefixes (200 examples, Free PDF, Video)

participant – a person who is taking part in an activity or event

・All of the participants were given a certificate for finishing the race.

The suffix -ant examples - PARTICIPANT

pollutant – a substance that pollutes something, especially air, and water

・Cars emit pollutants that harm the environment.

refrigerant – ​a chemical substance used in the refrigeration process

・A refrigerant is usually a liquid that is used to absorb heat from the air around it.

relaxant – ​a drug that is used to make the body relax

・I took a muscle relaxant and it immediately started to make me sleepy. 

remnant – a part of something that is left after the other parts have been used, removed, destroyed, etc.

・The remnants of the meal were wrapped up and stored in the refrigerator for later use.

sealant – a substance that is put onto a surface to stop air, water, etc. from entering or escaping from it

Sealant is used to fill gaps and prevent leaks in the roof.

servant – a person who works in another person’s house, and cooks, cleans, etc. for them

・The King’s servant helped prepare dinner and clean the house.

stimulant – a drug or substance that makes you feel more active and gives you more energy

・Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase alertness and energy.

tyrant – a person who has complete power in a country and uses it in a cruel and unfair way

・The company was run by a tyrant who treated his employees poorly and showed no regard for their well-being or job satisfaction.

variant – a thing that is a slightly different form or type of something else

・Rugby is a variant of soccer that began in England.

Did you know?

From the 14th and 15th centuries, various forms of “folk” or “mob” football were played. Two versions of this game emerged: one in which the ball was maneuvered with the legs and feet and one in which the ball was picked up and carried. These games were notable for being particularly violent. It was not unusual to see fighting, broken limbs, and sometimes even death during one of these matches.


The Suffix -ANT FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

The suffix -ant FAQ

What’s the difference between the suffixes -ant and -ance?

The suffix -ant is combined with words to make adjectives that mean – that is or does something

Example significant (something that signifies)
“The birth of my daughter was the most significant event in my life.”

The suffix -ANCE is used to create nouns to mean the action or state of.
-ance suffix (in nouns) the action or state of

Example: performance (The action of performing)
“I won the match but I wasn’t happy with my performance.”

The suffixes -ant and -ance are connected in one way. The suffix -ant changes nouns that end with -ance into adjectives.
Example: the noun relevance becomes the adjective relevant when you change the suffix. 

Learn more about the suffix -ANCE at my blog post here >> The Suffix -ANCE (52 Real Examples, Video, Free PDF)

Printable Suffix -ANT PDF Word List

Download the Word List as a printable PDF. Great for teachers to use with private or group classes. PDF contains the live links from the post.

Check out these other helpful PREFIX and SUFFIX blog posts. 

Thanks to a division of for the great images. Images that were used in this post are linked below.

Professional illustrations by Storyset

Money illustrations by Storyset

Happy illustrations by Storyset

Worker illustrations by Storyset

Nature illustrations by Storyset

Work illustrations by Storyset

Web illustrations by Storyset

Business illustrations by Storyset

People illustrations by Storyset

Education illustrations by Storyset

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