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  1. a word or phrase in apposition.
  1. placed in apposition.
  2. (of an adjective or adjectival phrase) directly following the noun it modifies.

Origin of appositive

First recorded in 1685–95; apposit(ion) + -ive
Related formsap·pos·i·tive·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for appositive

Historical Examples

  • An appositive is in the same case as the substantive which it limits.

    An Advanced English Grammar with Exercises

    George Lyman Kittredge

  • An appositive is in the same case as the substantive which it limits (p. 42).

  • Similar to the appositive is the explanatory relative clause.

    Business English

    Rose Buhlig

  • I follow most of the editors in taking hyrde as family and frean as an appositive with fæder.

    Genesis A


  • An appositive adjective is added to its noun to explain it, like a noun in apposition ( 88, 5).

British Dictionary definitions for appositive


  1. grammar
    1. standing in apposition
    2. another word for nonrestrictive
  2. of or relating to apposition
  1. an appositive word or phrase
Derived Formsappositively, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for appositive


1690s, from Latin appositus, past participle of apponere "to put to" (see apposite) + -ive. As a noun, from 1847.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper