[ in-dik-uh-tiv ]
See synonyms for: indicativeindicatively on

  1. showing, signifying, or pointing out; expressive or suggestive (usually followed by of): behavior indicative of mental disorder.

  2. Grammar. noting or pertaining to the mood of the verb used for ordinary objective statements, questions, etc., as the verb plays in John plays football.: Compare imperative (def. 3), subjunctive (def. 1).

  1. the indicative mood.

  2. a verb in the indicative.

Origin of indicative

From the Late Latin word indicātīvus, dating back to 1520–30. See indicate, -ive

Other words from indicative

  • in·dic·a·tive·ly, adverb
  • un·in·dic·a·tive, adjective
  • un·in·dic·a·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use indicative in a sentence

  • He raised his forefinger indicatively, as parents do to children.

    Sister Carrie | Theodore Dreiser
  • She glanced indicatively down the lawn, in the direction of Peter's retreating tweeds.

    The Cardinal's Snuff-Box | Henry Harland

British Dictionary definitions for indicative


/ (ɪnˈdɪkətɪv) /

  1. (usually postpositive foll by of) serving as a sign; suggestive: indicative of trouble ahead

  2. grammar denoting a mood of verbs used chiefly to make statements: Compare subjunctive (def. 1)

  1. grammar

    • the indicative mood

    • a verb in the indicative mood

  • Abbreviation: indic

Derived forms of indicative

  • indicatively, 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