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[kuh-rel-uh-tiv] /kəˈrɛl ə tɪv/
so related that each implies or complements the other.
being in correlation; mutually related.
Grammar. answering to or complementing one another and regularly used in association, as either and or, not only and but.
Biology. (of a typical structure of an organism) found in correlation with another.
either of two things, as two terms, that are correlative.
Grammar. a correlative expression.
Also, especially British, corelative.
Origin of correlative
From the Medieval Latin word correlātīvus, dating back to 1520-30. See cor-, relative
Related forms
correlatively, adverb
correlativeness, correlativity, noun
noncorrelative, adjective
noncorrelatively, adverb
noncorrelativeness, noun
uncorrelative, adjective
uncorrelatively, adverb
uncorrelativeness, noun
uncorrelativity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for correlative
Historical Examples
  • We are only concerned here with the correlative differences.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • He is the compend of time; he is also the correlative of nature.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The word gentleman has not any correlative abstract to express the quality.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The correlative of not, when it stands in the first member of a sentence, is nor or neither.

    The Verbalist Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
  • It is correlative with black, which is the opposite extreme of neutrality.

    Field's Chromatography George Field
  • It is correlative to chastity and decency, but covers a far wider field.


    William Graham Sumner
  • This duty to serve the country is correlative to the right to be a citizen.

    Practical Ethics William DeWitt Hyde
  • All relatives, then, if properly defined, have a correlative.

    The Categories Aristotle
  • We have here scientific insight, and its correlative caution.

  • These are correlative, and one cannot exist without the other.

British Dictionary definitions for correlative


in mutual, complementary, or reciprocal relationship; corresponding
denoting words, usually conjunctions, occurring together though not adjacently in certain grammatical constructions, as for example neither and nor in such sentences as he neither ate nor drank
either of two things that are correlative
a correlative word
Derived Forms
correlatively, adverb
correlativeness, correlativity, noun
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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