1Forming nouns denoting the person affected directly or indirectly by the action of the formative verb.‘employee’
2Forming nouns denoting a person described as or concerned with.‘absentee’
3Forming nouns denoting an object of relatively smaller size.
From Anglo-Norman French -é, from Latin -atus (past participial ending). Some forms are anglicized modern French nouns (e.g. refugee from réfugié).