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[ih-moh-tiv] /ɪˈmoʊ tɪv/
characterized by or pertaining to emotion:
the emotive and rational capacities of humankind.
productive of or directed toward the emotions:
Artistic distortion is often an emotive use of form.
Origin of emotive
First recorded in 1725-35; emot(ion) + -ive
Related forms
emotively, adverb
emotiveness, emotivity
[ee-moh-tiv-i-tee, ih-moh-] /ˌi moʊˈtɪv ɪ ti, ɪ moʊ-/ (Show IPA),
hyperemotive, adjective
hyperemotively, adverb
hyperemotiveness, noun
hyperemotivity, noun
nonemotive, adjective
nonemotively, adverb
nonemotiveness, noun
unemotive, adjective
unemotively, adverb
unemotiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for emotive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Grimly they pursued the way, automaton-like, unresponsive now to horror or any emotive.

    The Beginning Henry Hasse
  • Yet he has an emotive temperament—a glance at his sympathetic eyes will prove it.


    James Huneker
  • Employ the emotive tone to convey ideas of your truthfulness and honor.

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
  • Now my life was like a garden in the emotive torpor of spring; now my life was like a flower conscious of the light.

  • It is an emotive manifestation that stirs one's whole nature and vitalizes every part of the body.

    Vitality Supreme Bernarr Macfadden
  • He admits your figures to his conscious belief more readily than he would credit them if spoken in an emotive or power tone.

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
British Dictionary definitions for emotive


tending or designed to arouse emotion
of or characterized by emotion
Derived Forms
emotively, adverb
emotiveness, emotivity, noun
Usage note
Emotional is preferred to emotive when describing a display of emotion: he was given an emotional (not emotive) welcome
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 emotive

1735, "causing movement," from Latin emot-, past participle stem of emovere (see emotion) + -ive. Meaning "capable of emotion" is from 1881; that of "evoking emotions" is from 1923, originally in literary criticism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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