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a suffix of adjectives (and nouns of adjectival origin) expressing tendency, disposition, function, connection, etc.:
active; corrective; destructive; detective; passive; sportive.
Compare -ative, -itive.
Origin of -ive
< Latin -īvus; in some words, representing French -ive, feminine of -if Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for -ive


(forming adjectives) indicating a tendency, inclination, character, or quality: divisive, prohibitive, festive, massive
(forming nouns of adjectival origin): detective, expletive
Word Origin
from Latin -īvus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for -ive

sufix forming adjectives from verbs, meaning "pertaining to, tending to," in some cases from Old French -if, but usually directly from Latin -ivus. In some words borrowed from French at an early date it has been reduced to -y (e.g. hasty, tardy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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