a combination of -ate1 and -ive, used to form adjectives from stems in -ate1 (regulative); on this model, because of the frequency and productivity of -ate1, used independently to form adjectives from stems of other origin: normative.

Nearby words

  1. -ata,
  2. -ate,
  3. -athon,
  4. -atic,
  5. -ation,
  6. -ator,
  7. -atory,
  8. -bacter,
  9. -bashing,
  10. -biont

Origin of -ative

< Latin -ātīvus, equivalent to -āt(us) -ate1 + -īvus -ive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for -ative


suffix forming adjectives

of, relating to, or tending toauthoritative; decorative; informative

Word Origin for -ative

from Latin -ātīvus, from ātus -ate 1 + īvus -ive

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 -ative


word-forming element meaning "of or related to; tending to," from Latin -ativus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper