See more synonyms for appellative on
  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.

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

Related Words for appellative

appellation, moniker, designation, title, epithet, cognomen, tag, handle, nickname

Examples from the Web for appellative

Contemporary Examples of appellative

Historical Examples of appellative

  • 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
  1. of or relating to a name or title
  2. (of a proper noun) used as a common noun
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper