[ pri-skrip-tiv ]
/ prɪˈskrɪp tɪv /


that prescribes; giving directions or injunctions: a prescriptive letter from an anxious father.
depending on or arising from effective legal prescription, as a right or title established by a long unchallenged tenure.

Origin of prescriptive

1740–50; prescript + -ive, modeled on descriptive, etc.

OTHER WORDS FROM prescriptive

pre·scrip·tive·ly, adverbpre·scrip·tive·ness, nounnon·pre·scrip·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for non-prescriptive

/ (prɪˈskrɪptɪv) /


making or giving directions, rules, or injunctions
sanctioned by long-standing usage or custom
derived from or based upon legal prescriptiona prescriptive title

Derived forms of prescriptive

prescriptively, adverbprescriptiveness, noun
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