[ uh-soh-shee-ey-tiv, -see-, -shuh-tiv ]
/ əˈsoʊ ʃiˌeɪ tɪv, -si-, -ʃə tɪv /
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pertaining to or resulting from association.
tending to associate or unite.
Mathematics, Logic.
  1. (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).
  2. having reference to this property: associative law of multiplication.
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Origin of associative

First recorded in 1805–15; associate + -ive

OTHER WORDS FROM associative

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How to use associative in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for associative

/ (əˈsəʊʃɪətɪv) /

of, relating to, or causing association or union
maths logic
  1. 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)
  2. 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

Scientific definitions for associative

[ ə-sōshə-tĭv ]

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.