[ awg-men-tuh-tiv ]
/ ɔgˈmɛn tə tɪv /
Save This Word!

serving to augment.
Grammar. pertaining to or productive of a form denoting increased size or intensity. In Spanish the augmentative suffix -ón is added to a word (as silla “chair”) to indicate increased size, as in sillón “armchair.”
Grammar. an augmentative element or formation.
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of augmentative

1495–1505; augment + -ative; replacing augmentatif<Middle French

OTHER WORDS FROM augmentative

aug·men·ta·tive·ly, adverbnon·aug·ment·a·tive, adjective, nounun·aug·ment·a·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does augmentative mean?

Augmentative is used to describe things that augment or are intended to augment something—add to it in a way that makes it bigger or better.

The general sense of augment is used in a variety of contexts where something is literally or figuratively increased in size, number, shape, value, or quality or in some other way.

A process to add something to a material to make it stronger could be described as augmentative. Additional learning materials used by a teacher to supplement the textbook could be described as augmentative.

Augmentative is also used in a much more specific way in the context of grammar, but its general sense is much more commonly used.

Example: The addition of new materials to the collection is meant to be augmentative—they are not meant to replace the existing items.

Where does augmentative come from?

The first records of the word augmentative come from right around 1500. It’s an adjective form of the verb augment, which comes from the Late Latin augmentum, meaning “an increase,” from the verb aug(ēre), “to increase.” The suffix -ative is used to form adjectives.

Augmentive is often used in the context of an increase in size or amount, but it can describe other kinds of changes, such as in quality. Augmentative is typically used in a neutral or positive way—it usually implies that whatever is being added to something will make the thing better.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to augmentative?

  • augmentatively (adverb)
  • augment (verb)

What are some synonyms for augmentative?

What are some words that share a root or word element with augmentative

What are some words that often get used in discussing augmentative?

How is augmentative used in real life?

Augmentative can be used in all kinds of contexts that involve adding something to something else to improve it or enlarge it in some way.


Try using augmentative!

Is augmentative used correctly in the following sentence?

This augmentative process involves the addition of a substance that will serve to strengthen the material.

How to use augmentative in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for augmentative

/ (ɔːɡˈmɛntətɪv) /

tending or able to augment
  1. denoting an affix that may be added to a word to convey the meaning large or great; for example, the suffix -ote in Spanish, where hombre means man and hombrote big man
  2. denoting a word formed by the addition of an augmentative affix
grammar an augmentative word or affix
Compare (for senses 2, 3): diminutive

Derived forms of augmentative

augmentatively, 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