serving to divide into parts.
Grammar. noting part of a whole: the Latin partitive genitive.


Grammar. a partitive word or formation, as of the men in half of the men.

Origin of partitive

1510–20; < Medieval Latin partītīvus divisive, equivalent to Latin partīt(us), past participle of partīrī to divide (see party) + -īvus -ive
Related formspar·ti·tive·ly, adverbun·par·ti·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for partitive

Historical Examples of partitive

British Dictionary definitions for partitive



grammar indicating that a noun involved in a construction refers only to a part or fraction of what it otherwise refers to. The phrase some of the butter is a partitive construction; in some inflected languages it would be translated by the genitive case of the noun
serving to separate or divide into parts


grammar a partitive linguistic element or feature
Derived Formspartitively, adverb

Word Origin for partitive

C16: from Medieval Latin partītīvus serving to divide, from Latin partīre to divide
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 partitive

late 14c., "having the quality of dividing into parts," from Late Latin partitivus, from Latin partitus, past participle of partire "to divide" (see part (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper