[ kuh-rel-uh-tiv ]
See synonyms for: correlativecorrelatively on

  1. so related that each implies or complements the other.

  2. being in correlation; mutually related.

  1. Grammar. answering to or complementing one another and regularly used in association, as either and or, not only and but.

  2. Biology. (of a typical structure of an organism) found in correlation with another.

  1. either of two things, as two terms, that are correlative.

  2. Grammar. a correlative expression.

Origin of correlative

From the Medieval Latin word correlātīvus, dating back to 1520–30. See cor-, relative
  • Also especially British, co·rel·a·tive .

Other words from correlative

  • cor·rel·a·tive·ly, adverb
  • cor·rel·a·tive·ness, cor·rel·a·tiv·i·ty, noun
  • non·cor·rel·a·tive, adjective
  • non·cor·rel·a·tive·ly, adverb
  • non·cor·rel·a·tive·ness, noun
  • un·cor·rel·a·tive, adjective
  • un·cor·rel·a·tive·ly, adverb
  • un·cor·rel·a·tive·ness, noun
  • un·cor·rel·a·tiv·i·ty, noun

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

How to use correlative in a sentence

  • To hell with seven types of ambiguity, the objective correlative, and the anxiety of influence.

    Tarantino's Hollow Violence | Lee Siegel | August 24, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The fear of losing her increased his passion for her, and made him hate his rival with correlative fervor.

    Overland | John William De Forest
  • We might answer that the actualization of him who acts is simply present in such a thing (without correlative reaction).

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3 | Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • It is correlative with black, which is the opposite extreme of neutrality.

    Field's Chromatography | George Field
  • Where she might have rejoiced in the correlative claims bestowed upon her, she nourished only complaint.

    There and Back | George MacDonald
  • Potentiality and actuality are correlative terms corresponding to matter and form.

British Dictionary definitions for correlative


/ (kɒˈrɛlətɪv) /

  1. in mutual, complementary, or reciprocal relationship; corresponding

  2. 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

  1. either of two things that are correlative

  2. a correlative word

Derived forms of correlative

  • correlatively, adverb
  • correlativeness 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