• synonyms


[nom-uh-nuh-tiv, nom-nuh- or for 2, 3, nom-uh-ney-tiv]
  1. Grammar.
    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.
  2. nominated; appointed by nomination.
  3. made out in a person's name, as a certificate or security.
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noun Grammar.
  1. the nominative case.
  2. a word in the nominative case.
  3. a form or construction of similar function or meaning.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nominative

Historical Examples

  • Moi is in the nominative case when used in reply to "Who is there?"

    The Verbalist

    Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

  • But it does not always happen that the nominative case comes after than or as.

    The Verbalist

    Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

  • In all such cases, who should be made use of: for it is nominative and not objective.

    The Verbalist

    Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

  • The accusatives of such nouns are of the same form as the nominative.

  • In this sentence the are ni va ought to be in the nominative.

British Dictionary definitions for nominative


  1. 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)
  2. appointed rather than elected to a position, office, etc
  3. bearing the name of a person
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  1. grammar
    1. the nominative case
    2. a word or speech element in the nominative case
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Derived Formsnominatival (ˌnɒmɪnəˈtaɪvəl, ˌnɒmnə-), adjectivenominatively, adverb

Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper