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.

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Origin of formative

From the Middle French word formatif, dating back to 1480–90. See formation, -ive

OTHER WORDS FROM formative

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH formative

formative , formidable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences 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 forms of formative

formatively, 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