- (in certain inflected languages, as Latin, Greek, and German) noting a case having as a distinctive function indication of the indirect object of a verb or the object of certain prepositions.
- the dative case.
- a word or form in that case, as Latin regi in regi haec dicite meaning “tell this to the king.”
Origin of dative
- denoting a case of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives used to express the indirect object, to identify the recipients, and for other purposes
- the dative case
- a word or speech element in this case
Word Origin and History for datival
mid-15c., from Latin dativus "pertaining to giving," from datus "given" (see date (n.1)); in grammatical use from Greek dotike (ptosis) "dative (case)," from dotikos "of giving nature," from dotos "given," from PIE root *do- "to give," from the same PIE root as the Latin word. In law, "that may be disposed of at pleasure," from 1530s.