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[it-uh-rey-tiv, -er-uh-tiv]
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  1. repeating; making repetition; repetitious.
  2. Grammar. frequentative.

Origin of iterative

From the Late Latin word iterātīvus, dating back to 1480–90. See iterate, -ive
Related formsit·er·a·tive·ly, adverbit·er·a·tive·ness, nounun·it·er·a·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for iterative


  1. repetitious or frequent
  2. maths logic another word for recursiveSee recursive
  3. grammar another word for frequentative
Derived Formsiteratively, adverbiterativeness, 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

Word Origin and History for iterative


"involving repetition," late 15c., from French iteratif (c.1400), from Late Latin iterativus, from iterat-, past participle stem of iterare (see iteration). As a noun, from 1854. Related: Iteratively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper