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.

Nearby words

  1. incentively,
  2. incentivize,
  3. incept,
  4. inception,
  5. inceptisol,
  6. inceptively,
  7. incertitude,
  8. incessancy,
  9. incessant,
  10. incest

Origin of inceptive

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

Related formsin·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



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 Formsinceptively, 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

Word Origin and History for inceptive



1650s, from French inceptif (16c.), from Latin incept-, past participle stem of incipere "to begin" (see inception).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper