[ op-tuh-tiv ]
/ ˈɒp tə tɪv /


designating or pertaining to a verb mood, as in Greek, that has among its functions the expression of a wish, as Greek íoimen “may we go, we wish we might go.”


the optative mood.
a verb in the optative mood.

Origin of optative

1520–30; < Late Latin optātīvus, equivalent to Latin optāt(us) (past participle of optāre; see opt, -ate1) + -īvus -ive

Related forms

op·ta·tive·ly, adverb
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Examples from the Web for optative

British Dictionary definitions for optative


/ (ˈɒptətɪv) /


indicating or expressing choice, preference, or wish
grammar denoting a mood of verbs in Greek, Sanskrit, etc, expressing a wish


  1. the optative mood
  2. a verb in this mood

Word Origin for optative

C16: via French optatif, from Late Latin optātīvus, from Latin optāre to desire
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