[ per-fawr-muh-tiv ]
/ pərˈfɔr mə tɪv /
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Philosophy, Linguistics. (of an expression or statement) performing an act by the very fact of being uttered, as with the expression “I promise,” that performs the act of promising.Compare constative (def. 1).
relating to the performance of behaviors associated with a particular social role or identity: He reflects on his mother's performative femininity, remembering the times he witnessed her adorning herself with eyeshadow, bracelets, and belts.
relating to ways of behaving that exhibit a socially acceptable belief, trait, or quality, often making a superficial impression: Performative wokeness enables privileged people to reap the social benefits of wokeness without actually undertaking the necessary legwork to combat inequality.
a performative utterance. Compare constative (def. 2). See also speech act.
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Origin of performative

First recorded in 1950–55; perform + -ative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use performative in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for performative

/ (pəˈfɔːmətɪv) /

adjective linguistics philosophy
  1. denoting an utterance that constitutes some act, esp the act described by the verb. For example, I confess that I was there is itself a confession, and so is performative in the narrower sense, while I'd like you to meet … (effecting an introduction) is performative only in the looser senseSee also locutionary act, illocution, perlocution
  2. (as noun)that sentence is a performative
  1. denoting a verb that may be used as the main verb in such an utterance
  2. (as noun)``promise'' is a performative

Derived forms of performative

performatively, adverb
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