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[duh-mon-struh-tiv] /dəˈmɒn strə tɪv/
characterized by or given to open exhibition or expression of one's emotions, attitudes, etc., especially of love or affection:
She wished her fiancé were more demonstrative.
serving to demonstrate; explanatory or illustrative.
serving to prove the truth of anything; indubitably conclusive.
Grammar. indicating or singling out the thing referred to. This is a demonstrative pronoun.
Grammar. a demonstrative word, as this or there.
Origin of demonstrative
1350-1400; Middle English demonstratif (< Middle French) < Latin dēmonstrātīvus, equivalent to dēmonstrāt(us) (see demonstrate) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
demonstratively, adverb
demonstrativeness, noun
nondemonstrative, adjective
nondemonstratively, adverb
nondemonstrativeness, noun
predemonstrative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for demonstrative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The following points in the history of the demonstrative and relative pronouns are taken from Grimm's Deutsche Grammatik, vol.

    The English Language Robert Gordon Latham
  • I am not demonstrative toward anybody; I leave that custom to my servants.

    Athalie Robert W. Chambers
  • In order to retain some demonstrative value in prodigies, rules had to be imagined for distinguishing true from false miracles.

    The Apostles Ernest Renan
  • She had never been so demonstrative to Hanny, much as she had loved her.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago Amanda Millie Douglas
  • Rio's welcome was the most demonstrative, Callao's probably the most heartfelt, that of Punta Arenas the most unexpected.

    With the Battle Fleet Franklin Matthews
  • His reception of her had not been demonstrative, but of that she was hardly sensible.

  • For example, the ἀρχαὶ of demonstrative science are said to be discovered by intellect (νοῦς) vi.

    Aristotle George Grote
  • And I am not demonstrative in my friendliness, like Rosie, you know.

    Janet's Love and Service Margaret M Robertson
British Dictionary definitions for demonstrative


tending to manifest or express one's feelings easily or unreservedly
(postpositive) foll by of. serving as proof; indicative
involving or characterized by demonstration: a demonstrative lecture
conclusive; indubitable: demonstrative arguments
(grammar) denoting or belonging to a class of determiners used to point out the individual referent or referents intended, such as this, that, these, and those Compare interrogative, relative
(grammar) a demonstrative word or construction
Derived Forms
demonstratively, adverb
demonstrativeness, 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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Word Origin and History for demonstrative

late 14c., "characterized by logic, based on logic," from Old French démonstratif (14c.), from Latin demonstrativus "pointing out, demonstrating," from past participle stem of demonstrare (see demonstration). Grammatical sense, "pointing out the thing referred to," is mid-15c. Meaning "given to outward expressions of feelings" is from 1819. Demonstrative pronoun is late 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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