(in certain inflected languages) noting a case whose distinctive function is to indicate place in or at which, as Latin domī “at home.”


the locative case.
a word in that case.

Origin of locative

1795–1805; locate + -ive, on the model of vocative
Related formsun·loc·a·tive, adjective
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Examples from the Web for locative

Historical Examples of locative

British Dictionary definitions for locative



(of a word or phrase) indicating place or direction
denoting a case of nouns, etc, that refers to the place at which the action described by the verb occurs


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

Word Origin for locative

C19: locate + -ive, on the model of vocative
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 locative

"grammatical case indicating place," 1804, from Latin locus "place" (see locus) on model of Latin vocativus "vocative," from vocatus, past participle of vocare "to call, summon." As an adjective by 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper