[ in-sep-tiv ]
/ ɪnˈsɛp tɪv /


beginning; initial.
Grammar. (of a derived verb, or of an aspect in verb inflection) expressing the beginning of the action indicated by the underlying verb, as Latin verbs in -scō, which generally have inceptive force, as calēscō “become or begin to be hot” from caleō “be hot.”

noun Grammar.

the inceptive aspect.
a verb in this aspect.

Origin of inceptive

From the Late Latin word inceptīvus, dating back to 1605–15. See incept, -ive

Related forms

in·cep·tive·ly, adverbun·in·cep·tive, adjectiveun·in·cep·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inceptive

British Dictionary definitions for inceptive


/ (ɪnˈsɛptɪv) /


beginning; incipient; initial
Also called: inchoative grammar denoting an aspect of verbs in some languages used to indicate the beginning of an action


  1. the inceptive aspect of verbs
  2. a verb in this aspect

Derived Forms

inceptively, adverb
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