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[in-dik-uh-tiv] /ɪnˈdɪk ə tɪv/
showing, signifying, or pointing out; expressive or suggestive (usually followed by of):
behavior indicative of mental disorder.
Grammar. noting or pertaining to the mood of the verb used for ordinary objective statements, questions, etc., as the verb plays in John plays football.
Compare imperative (def 3), subjunctive (def 1).
noun, Grammar.
the indicative mood.
a verb in the indicative.
Origin of indicative
From the Late Latin word indicātīvus, dating back to 1520-30. See indicate, -ive
Related forms
indicatively, adverb
unindicative, adjective
unindicatively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for indicative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And Bartley's evident determination to carry out his original plan struck Cheyenne as indicative of considerable spirit.

    Partners of Chance Henry Herbert Knibbs
  • The organization of the Bank is indicative of the organization of modern business.

    The American Empire Scott Nearing
  • The indicative is used for the statement of facts, the supposition of facts, or inquiry after facts.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
  • Now all these names are indicative of some special feature of his character.

  • As he moved, he muttered many expressions, indicative of a deeply disturbed and even remorseful mind.

    The Infidel, Vol. II. Robert Montgomery Bird
British Dictionary definitions for indicative


(usually postpositive) foll by of. serving as a sign; suggestive: indicative of trouble ahead
(grammar) denoting a mood of verbs used chiefly to make statements Compare subjunctive (sense 1)
  1. the indicative mood
  2. a verb in the indicative mood
Derived Forms
indicatively, 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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Word Origin and History for indicative

mid-15c., from Old French indicatif (14c.), from Late Latin indicativus, from indicat-, past participle stem of Latin indicare (see indication).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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