• synonyms


[kon-uh-tiv, koh-nuh-]
  1. Psychology. pertaining to or of the nature of conation.
  2. Grammar. expressing endeavor or effort: a conative verb.
Show More
  1. Grammar. a conative word, affix, or verbal aspect.
Show More

Origin of conative

First recorded in 1680–90; conat(ion) + -ive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for conative

Historical Examples

  • Man's spirit has to carry all its knowledge and experience into its own conative spiritual potencies.

    An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy

    W. Tudor Jones

  • As to sentiments and emotions, they involve ideas and conative elements in addition to sensations and feelings.

  • The third Brook of Grace irrigates the conative powers of the self; strengthens the will in all perfection, and energises us anew.


    Evelyn Underhill

  • He totally ignores the existence and organisation of the conative side of the mind.

    The Group Mind

    William McDougall

  • With this "conative act," as the psychologists would call it, the true contemplative life begins.

    Practical Mysticism

    Evelyn Underhill

British Dictionary definitions for conative


  1. grammar denoting an aspect of verbs in some languages used to indicate the effort of the agent in performing the activity described by the verb
  2. of or relating to conation
Show More
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 conative


1836, from Latin conat-, past participle stem of conari "to endeavor, to try" (see conation) + -ive.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper