• synonyms


[ fri-kwen-tuh-tiv ]
/ frɪˈkwɛn tə tɪv /


noting or pertaining to a verb aspect expressing repetition of an action.


the frequentative aspect.
a verb in the frequentative aspect, as wrestle from wrest.


Can You Untangle These Regional Mix-Ups?Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.

Nearby words

frequency response, frequency-division multiplex, frequent, frequent flier, frequentation, frequentative, frequently, fresco, fresco secco, frescobaldi, frescobaldi, girolamo

Origin of frequentative

First recorded in 1520–30, frequentative is from the Latin word frequentātīvus denoting repetition of an act. See frequent, -ate1, -ive
Related formsun·fre·quen·ta·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for frequentative

  • 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
  • Some roots are reduplicated wholly or in part with a frequentative meaning, and there are traces of gemination of radicals.

  • The Russian verb has commonly a simple and a frequentative future.

    Russia|Donald Mackenzie Wallace

British Dictionary definitions for frequentative


/ (frɪˈkwɛntətɪv) grammar /


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


  1. a frequentative verb or affix
  2. 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

Word Origin and History for frequentative



"verb which expresses repetition of action," 1520s, from French fréquentatif, from Late Latin frequentativus "that which denotes the repetition of an act," from Latin frequentatus, past participle of frequentare "visit regularly."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper