a writer, teacher, or supporter of descriptive grammar or descriptive linguistics.


of, relating to, or based on descriptive grammar or descriptive linguistics.

Origin of descriptivist

First recorded in 1950–55; descriptive + -ist
Related formsde·scrip·tiv·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for descriptivism

Contemporary Examples of descriptivism

  • And descriptivism may be the last refuge of the linguistic conservative after the former mistake has become the current rule.

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    Busted by The Language Cops

    David Frum

    April 30, 2012

British Dictionary definitions for descriptivism



ethics the theory that moral utterances have a truth valueCompare prescriptivism, emotivism
Derived Formsdescriptivist, adjective
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