a verb aspect expressing frequent repeated action.
an affix, particle, or verb expressing this aspect, such as the suffix -er in scamper, or the verb trample, from tramp.
designating or relating to a verb aspect expressing frequent repeated action.
designating an affix, particle, or verb that expresses this aspect: in English, -le and -er are frequentative suffixes, and sparkle and shiver are frequentative verbs.
In Latin, however, frequentative verbs are common in all periods. Frequentatives occur very frequently in the comedies of Plautus and Terence, in Cicero’s letters, and in the Satyricon of Petronius. Latin frequentative verbs often do not differ in meaning from simple verbs, and they often replace the original simple verbs in Romance languages (languages descended from Latin) because the frequentatives are perfectly regular whereas the simple verbs may be somewhat or very irregular.
In Latin, frequentatives are formed from the suffixes -tāre, -itāre, -sāre added to the past participle of the simple verb. For instance, the simple verb canō, canere, cecinī, cantus “I sing, to sing, I have sung, sung” would be a regular verb of the third conjugation (whose present infinitive is marked by -ere ) except for the third principal part, cecinī (from an unattested kekanai, a reduplicated perfect inherited from Proto-Indo-European). To the inflectional stem cant- of the past participle cantus, Latin adds the suffix -tāre (reduced to -āre after the preceding t ) resulting in the absolutely regular first conjugation verb canto, cantāre, cantāvī, cantātus (compare Italian canto, cantare, cantai, cantato ). Cantāre becomes cantare in Italian, cantar in Spanish and Portuguese, and chanter in French.
- un·fre·quen·ta·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use frequentative in a sentence
According to Skeat jingle, “a frequentative verb from the base jink,” is allied to chink, and chink is “an imitative word”.Archaic England | Harold Bayley
Startling, moving suddenly; the frequentative form of starting, which Chaucer preferred when repeating this same line in his Kn.Chaucer's Works, Volume 3 (of 7) | Geoffrey Chaucer
They are to be compared with the Latin verbs frequentative, as factitare instead of facere, cursitare instead of currere, etc.Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic Nations | Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson
The Russian verb has commonly a simple and a frequentative future.Russia | Donald Mackenzie Wallace
Some roots are reduplicated wholly or in part with a frequentative meaning, and there are traces of gemination of radicals.
British Dictionary definitions for frequentative
denoting an aspect of verbs in some languages used to express repeated or habitual action
(in English) denoting a verb or an affix having meaning that involves repeated or habitual action, such as the verb wrestle, from wrest
a frequentative verb or affix
the frequentative aspect of verbs
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