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

  1. serving to unite or couple.

  2. Grammar.

    • involving or consisting of connected words or clauses: a copulative sentence.

    • pertaining to or serving as a copula; serving to connect subject and complement: a copulative verb.

    • serving to connect nouns, noun phrases, verbs, clauses, etc.: a copulative conjunction.

    • of the dvandva type: Bittersweet is a copulative compound.

  1. of or relating to sexual intercourse.

  1. Grammar. a copulative word.

Origin of copulative

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English copulatif, from Middle French copulatif, copulative, from Late Latin cōpulātīvus; see copulate, -ive

Other words from copulative

  • cop·u·la·tive·ly, adverb

Words Nearby copulative Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use copulative in a sentence

  • A conjunction copulative; a gallant match between your daughter and Raymond Mounchensey, young juventus.

  • The suspender of the larger copulative cell preserves its primitive form and becomes scarcely any larger.

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses | Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • That no number of connected singular nouns can govern a plural verb, unless they be connected by a copulative conjunction.

    A Handbook of the English Language | Robert Gordon Latham
  • Murray admits of only the dis-junctive and copulative, and reduces the whole list of words to twenty-four.

    Lectures on Language | William S. Balch
  • It is a copulative conjunction, connecting the two members of the sentence—he will adopt if he can procure: Rule, as above.

    Lectures on Language | William S. Balch

British Dictionary definitions for copulative


/ (ˈkɒpjʊlətɪv) /

  1. serving to join or unite

  2. of or characteristic of copulation

  1. grammar (of a verb) having the nature of a copula

Derived forms of copulative

  • copulatively, 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