[ pahr-ti-tiv ]
/ ˈpɑr tɪ tɪv /


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 forms

par·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

British Dictionary definitions for partitive


/ (ˈpɑːtɪtɪv) /


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 Forms

partitively, 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