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Forming nouns.

Old French ‑at or Latin ‑atus, ‑ata, ‑atum.

One sense, usually derived from Latin originals, is that of an office, rank or position: doctorate, episcopate, baccalaureate (a university bachelor's degree). Others refer to place: a consulate is the place where the function of consul is carried out; a protectorate is a state protected or controlled by another. Some signify the office or territory of a ruler: sultanate, caliphate, vizierate.

The suffix can mark a group or collective body: electorate, mandarinate (often used for a group of powerful civil servants), rabbinate, senate, syndicate, triumvirate. Others describe a person who exercises some function: magistrate, advocate, candidate, curate, subordinate. A mandate, an official order or commission to do something, is from Latin mandatum, something commanded.

The suffix also indicates salts of acids whose names end in ‑ic, such as nitrate (a salt of nitric acid), carbonate (from carbonic acid), or acetate (from acetic acid). Compare ‑ite1. The related term hydrate refers to compounds containing chemically bound water. Several examples indicate the result of some chemical process: filtrate, precipitate, condensate, distillate.

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