a diminutive or pejorative suffix denoting something that imperfectly resembles or mimics the true thing:
criticaster; poetaster, oleaster.
chiefly biology. a combining form with the meaning “star,” used in the formation of compound words:
a person or thing that is inferior or bears only a poor resemblance to what is specified poetaster
word origin
from latin: suffix indicating imperfect resemblance
suffix expressing incomplete resemblance (e.g. poetaster), usually dim. and deprecatory, from l., from gk. -aster, suffix originally forming nouns from verbs ending in -azein, later generalized as a pejorative suffix, e.g. patraster “he who plays the father.”

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