[il-uh-tiv, ih-ley-tiv]


of, relating to, or expressing illation; inferential: an illative word such as “therefore.”
Grammar. noting a case, as in Finnish, whose distinctive function is to indicate place into or toward which.


Grammar. the illative case.

Nearby words

  1. ill-use,
  2. ill-wisher,
  3. ill.,
  4. illampu,
  5. illation,
  6. illatively,
  7. illaudable,
  8. illawarra,
  9. ille,
  10. ille-et-vilaine

Origin of illative

1585–95; < Late Latin illātīvus, equivalent to illāt- (see illation) + -īvus -ive

Related formsil·la·tive·ly, adverbnon·il·la·tive, adjectivenon·il·la·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for illative

British Dictionary definitions for illative



of or relating to illation; inferential
grammar denoting a word or morpheme used to signal inference, for example so or therefore
(in the grammar of Finnish and other languages) denoting a case of nouns expressing a relation of motion or direction, usually translated by the English prepositions into or towardsCompare elative (def. 1)


  1. the illative case
  2. an illative word or speech element
Derived Formsillatively, adverb

Word Origin for illative

C16: from Late Latin illātīvus inferring, concluding

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 illative



"inferential," 1610s, from Late Latin illativus, from Latin illatus "brought in," used as past participle of inferre. As a noun from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper