so related that each implies or complements the other.
being in correlation; mutually related.
Grammar. answering to or complementing one another and regularly used in association, as either and or, not only and but.
Biology. (of a typical structure of an organism) found in correlation with another.


either of two things, as two terms, that are correlative.
Grammar. a correlative expression.

Also especially British, co·rel·a·tive.

Origin of correlative

From the Medieval Latin word correlātīvus, dating back to 1520–30. See cor-, relative
Related formscor·rel·a·tive·ly, adverbcor·rel·a·tive·ness, cor·rel·a·tiv·i·ty, nounnon·cor·rel·a·tive, adjectivenon·cor·rel·a·tive·ly, adverbnon·cor·rel·a·tive·ness, nounun·cor·rel·a·tive, adjectiveun·cor·rel·a·tive·ly, adverbun·cor·rel·a·tive·ness, nounun·cor·rel·a·tiv·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for correlative

Historical Examples of correlative

  • We are only concerned here with the correlative differences.

  • He is the compend of time; he is also the correlative of nature.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • The word gentleman has not any correlative abstract to express the quality.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • The correlative of not, when it stands in the first member of a sentence, is nor or neither.

    The Verbalist

    Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

  • It is correlative with black, which is the opposite extreme of neutrality.

British Dictionary definitions for correlative



in mutual, complementary, or reciprocal relationship; corresponding
denoting words, usually conjunctions, occurring together though not adjacently in certain grammatical constructions, as for example neither and nor in such sentences as he neither ate nor drank


either of two things that are correlative
a correlative word
Derived Formscorrelatively, adverbcorrelativeness or correlativity, noun
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