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See more synonyms for appellative on Thesaurus.com
  1. a descriptive name or designation, as Bald in Charles the Bald.
  2. a common noun.
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  1. designative; descriptive.
  2. tending toward or serving for the assigning of names: the appellative function of some primitive rites.
  3. pertaining to a common noun.
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Origin of appellative

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin appellātīvus. See appellate, -ive
Related formsap·pel·la·tive·ly, adverbap·pel·la·tive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for appellative

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The appellative "Elias" is in fact both a personal name and a title.

    Jesus the Christ

    James Edward Talmage

  • Wily Will justified his appellative; for, after suspicion arose, he was seen no more.


    Sir Walter Scott

  • So much for the name as an appellative; now for its appropriation as a generic.

  • That ayogriha is the name of the prince, not an appellative, appears from the Pli recensions.

  • At the sound of the tender Russian appellative she turned to me quickly.

    Marie Tarnowska

    Annie Vivanti

British Dictionary definitions for appellative


  1. an identifying name or title; appellation
  2. grammar another word for common noun
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  1. of or relating to a name or title
  2. (of a proper noun) used as a common noun
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Derived Formsappellatively, 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

Word Origin and History for appellative


mid-15c., from Latin appellativus, from appellat-, past participle stem of appellare (see appeal). As a noun, attested from 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper