[nom-uh-nuh-tiv, nom-nuh- or for 2, 3, nom-uh-ney-tiv]


  1. (in certain inflected languages, as Sanskrit, Latin, and Russian) noting a case having as its function the indication of the subject of a finite verb, as in Latin Nauta bonus est “The sailor is good,” with nauta “sailor” in the nominative case.
  2. similar to such a case in function or meaning.
nominated; appointed by nomination.
made out in a person's name, as a certificate or security.

noun Grammar.

the nominative case.
a word in the nominative case.
a form or construction of similar function or meaning.

Nearby words

  1. nominalism,
  2. nominalize,
  3. nominally,
  4. nominate,
  5. nomination,
  6. nominative absolute,
  7. nominative case,
  8. nominative of address,
  9. nominator,
  10. nominee

Origin of nominative

1350–1400; < Latin nominātīvus (see nominate, -ive), replacing Middle English nominatif < Middle French < Latin as above

Related formsnom·i·na·tive·ly, adverbun·nom·i·na·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nominative

British Dictionary definitions for nominative



grammar denoting a case of nouns and pronouns in inflected languages that is used esp to identify the subject of a finite verbSee also subjective (def. 6)
appointed rather than elected to a position, office, etc
bearing the name of a person


  1. the nominative case
  2. a word or speech element in the nominative case
Derived Formsnominatival (ˌnɒmɪnəˈtaɪvəl, ˌnɒmnə-), adjectivenominatively, adverb

Word Origin for nominative

C14: from Latin nōminātīvus belonging to naming, from nōmen name

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 nominative



late 14c., "pertaining to the grammatical case dealing with the subject of a verb," from Old French nominatif, from Latin nominativus "pertaining to naming," from nominatus, past participle of nominare (see nominate). As a noun from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper