[uh-soh-shee-ey-tiv, -see-, -shuh-tiv]
pertaining to or resulting from association.
tending to associate or unite.
- (of an operation on a set of elements) giving an equivalent expression when elements are grouped without change of order, as (a + b) + c = a + (b + c).
- having reference to this property: associative law of multiplication.
Origin of associative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
of, relating to, or causing association or union
- being independent of the grouping of numbers, symbols, or terms within a given set, as in conjunction or in an expression such as (2 × 3) × 4 = 2 × (3 × 4)
- referring to this propertythe associative laws of arithmetic
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Of or relating to the property of an operation, such as addition or multiplication, which states that the grouping of numbers undergoing the operation does not change the result. For example, 3 + (4 + 5) is equal to (3 + 4) + 5. See also commutative distributive.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.