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privative

[priv-uh-tiv]
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adjective
  1. causing, or tending to cause, deprivation.
  2. consisting in or characterized by the taking away, loss, or lack of something.
  3. Grammar. indicating negation or absence.
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noun
  1. Grammar. a privative element, as a- in asymmetric.
  2. something that is deprived.
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Origin of privative

1350–1400; Middle English privatif < Latin prīvātīvus. See private, -ive
Related formspriv·a·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for privative

Historical Examples

  • Blindness is a 'privative', to be blind is to be in a state of privation, but is not a 'privative'.

    The Categories

    Aristotle

  • It is a negative principle, and negative in the sense of privative.

  • Name from - privative and , foliage, alluding to the naked stalks.

  • Ex, Latin prefix; privative in place of "e" when next letter is a vowel.

  • He contended that cold was probably only privative, and not a positive existence.


British Dictionary definitions for privative

privative

adjective
  1. causing privation
  2. expressing lack or negation, as for example the English suffix -less and prefix un-
  3. logic obsolete (of a proposition) that predicates a logical privation
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Derived Formsprivatively, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin prīvātīvus indicating loss, negative
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 privative

adj.

1580s, "expressing negation" (as do the prefixes un-, a- (2), etc.), from Latin privativus "denoting privation, negative," from privatus, past participle of privare (see private).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper