[ uh-pel-uh-tiv ]
/ əˈpɛl ə tɪv /


a descriptive name or designation, as Bald in Charles the Bald.
a common noun.


designative; descriptive.
tending toward or serving for the assigning of names: the appellative function of some primitive rites.
pertaining to a common noun.

Nearby words

  1. appellant,
  2. appellate,
  3. appellate division,
  4. appellation,
  5. appellation contrôlée,
  6. appellatively,
  7. appellee,
  8. appellor,
  9. append,
  10. appendage

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

Examples from the Web for appellative

British Dictionary definitions for appellative


/ (əˈpɛlətɪv) /


an identifying name or title; appellation
grammar another word for common noun


of or relating to a name or title
(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