formative

[ fawr-muh-tiv ]
/ ˈfɔr mə tɪv /

adjective

giving form or shape; forming; shaping; fashioning; molding: a formative process in manufacturing.
pertaining to formation or development: a child's most formative years.
Biology.
  1. capable of developing new cells or tissue by cell division and differentiation: formative tissue.
  2. concerned with the formation of an embryo, organ, or the like.
Grammar. pertaining to a formative.

noun

Grammar. a derivational affix, particularly one that determines the part of speech of the derived word, as -ness, in loudness, hardness, etc.
Linguistics. (in generative grammar) any element, as a word, affix, or inflectional ending, functioning as a minimal syntactic unit that can be used in forming larger constructions.

Origin of formative

From the Middle French word formatif, dating back to 1480–90. See formation, -ive
Related forms
Can be confusedformative formidable
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for formative

British Dictionary definitions for formative

formative

/ (ˈfɔːmətɪv) /

adjective

of or relating to formation, development, or growthformative years
shaping; mouldinga formative experience
(of tissues and cells in certain parts of an organism) capable of growth and differentiation
functioning in the formation of derived, inflected, or compound words

noun

an inflectional or derivational affix
(in generative grammar) any of the minimum units of a sentence that have syntactic function
Derived Formsformatively, adverbformativeness, 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 formative

formative


adj.

late 15c., from Middle French formatif, from Latin format-, past participle stem of formare (see form (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper