[ jen-i-tiv ]
/ ˈdʒɛn ɪ tɪv /


(in certain inflected languages) noting a case of nouns, pronouns, or adjectives, used primarily to express possession, measure, or origin: as John's hat, week's vacation, duty's call.
noting an affix or other element characteristic of this case, or a word containing such an element.
similar to such a case form in function or meaning.


the genitive case.
a word in the genitive case.
a construction noting this case or the relationship usually expressed by it.
Compare possessive.

Origin of genitive

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin genitīvus, equivalent to genit(us) (past participle of gignere to beget) + -īvus -ive

Related forms

gen·i·ti·val [jen-i-tahy-vuh l] /ˌdʒɛn ɪˈtaɪ vəl/, adjectivegen·i·ti·val·ly, adverbun·gen·i·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for genitival

British Dictionary definitions for genitival


/ (ˈdʒɛnɪtɪv) grammar /


denoting a case of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in inflected languages used to indicate a relation of ownership or association, usually translated by English of


  1. the genitive case
  2. a word or speech element in this case

Derived Forms

genitival (ˌdʒɛnɪˈtaɪvəl), adjectivegenitivally, adverb

Word Origin for genitive

C14: from Latin genetīvus relating to birth, from gignere to produce
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