[kop-yuh-ley-tiv, -luh-tiv]


serving to unite or couple.
  1. involving or consisting of connected words or clauses: a copulative sentence.
  2. pertaining to or serving as a copula; serving to connect subject and complement: a copulative verb.
  3. serving to connect nouns, noun phrases, verbs, clauses, etc.: a copulative conjunction.
  4. of the dvandva type: Bittersweet is a copulative compound.
of or relating to sexual intercourse.


Grammar. a copulative word.

Origin of copulative

1350–1400; Middle English copulatif < Latin cōpulātīvus. See copulate, -ive
Related formscop·u·la·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for copulative

Historical Examples of copulative

  • If incomplete, determine whether they are transitive or copulative verbs.

    Plain English

    Marian Wharton

  • Note whether the complement of the copulative verb is an adjective or a noun.

    Plain English

    Marian Wharton

  • They are chiefly of two sorts, the Copulative and Disjunctive.

  • I take it that it is affirmative, negative, copulative and restrictive; but that is—not all.

    The Mercy of Allah

    Hilaire Belloc

  • The disjunctive, therefore, not the copulative, is the proper conjunction.

    Flowers of Freethought

    George W. Foote

British Dictionary definitions for copulative



serving to join or unite
of or characteristic of copulation
grammar (of a verb) having the nature of a copula
Derived Formscopulatively, 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