[dih-tur-muh-ney-tiv, -nuh-tiv]


serving to determine; determining.


something that determines.
a graphic symbol used in ideographic writing to denote a semantic class and written next to a word to indicate in what semantic category that word is to be understood, thus at times distinguishing homographs.

Origin of determinative

1645–55; probably < Medieval Latin dēterminātīvus fixed, Late Latin: crucial (of a disease), equivalent to Latin dētermināt(us) (see determinate) + -īvus -ive
Related formsde·ter·mi·na·tive·ly, adverbde·ter·mi·na·tive·ness, nounnon·de·ter·mi·na·tive, adjective, nounnon·de·ter·mi·na·tive·ly, adverbnon·de·ter·mi·na·tive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for determinative

Contemporary Examples of determinative

Historical Examples of determinative

British Dictionary definitions for determinative



able to or serving to settle or determine; deciding


a factor, circumstance, etc, that settles or determines
grammar a less common word for determiner
(in a logographic writing system) a logogram that bears a separate meaning, from which compounds and inflected forms are built up
Derived Formsdeterminatively, adverbdeterminativeness, 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

Word Origin and History for determinative

1650s, from French déterminatif (15c.), from Latin determinat-, past participle stem of determinare (see determine). As a noun from 1832.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper