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[dis-juhngk-tiv] /dɪsˈdʒʌŋk tɪv/
serving or tending to disjoin; separating; dividing; distinguishing.
  1. syntactically setting two or more expressions in opposition to each other, as but in poor but happy, or expressing an alternative, as or in this or that.
  2. not syntactically dependent upon some particular expression.
  1. characterizing propositions that are disjunctions.
  2. (of a syllogism) containing at least one disjunctive proposition as a premise.
a statement, course of action, etc., involving alternatives.
Logic. disjunction (def 2a).
Grammar. a disjunctive word.
Origin of disjunctive
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin disjunctīvus placed in opposition, equivalent to Latin disjunct(us) (see disjunct) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
disjunctively, adverb
nondisjunctive, adjective
nondisjunctively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for disjunctive
Historical Examples
  • Moreover, every man is forced to admit the certain truth of a number of disjunctive propositions.

  • They are chiefly of two sorts, the Copulative and disjunctive.

    The Comic English Grammar Percival Leigh
  • The disjunctive forms of the pronoun are also sometimes preserved before verbs and adjectives.

    The Indian in his Wigwam Henry R. Schoolcraft
  • The disjunctive, therefore, not the copulative, is the proper conjunction.

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
  • The facilities for wreaking final vengeance upon each other was a disjunctive irony divided equally between them.

    The Red Debt Everett MacDonald
  • A Dilemma is a combination of Hypothetical and disjunctive propositions.

  • Then for much tobacco, the disjunctive hypothetical syllogism and the strict rigour of the game.

    Far Off Things Arthur Machen
  • Conditional propositions, again, are of two kinds—Hypothetical and disjunctive.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • Sometimes the disjunctive but is substituted for the conjunction that, as, "I have no doubt but he will be here to-night."

    Conversation Andrew P. Peabody
  • For a disjunctive in I., of course, there is no Contrapositive.

    Logic Carveth Read
British Dictionary definitions for disjunctive


serving to disconnect or separate
  1. denoting a word, esp a conjunction, that serves to express opposition or contrast: but in the sentence She was poor but she was honest
  2. denoting an inflection of pronouns in some languages that is used alone or after a preposition, such as moi in French
(logic) Also alternative. relating to, characterized by, or containing disjunction
  1. a disjunctive word, esp a conjunction
  2. a disjunctive pronoun
(logic) a disjunctive proposition; disjunction
Derived Forms
disjunctively, 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
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