- having the quality of describing; characterized by description: a descriptive passage in an essay.
- noting, concerned with, or based upon the fact or experience.
- characterized by or based upon the classification and description of material in a given field: descriptive botany.
Origin of descriptive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- characterized by or containing description; serving to describe
- grammar (of an adjective) serving to describe the referent of the noun modified, as for example the adjective brown as contrasted with my and former
- relating to or based upon description or classification rather than explanation or prescriptiondescriptive linguistics
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 self-descriptive
1751, from Late Latin descriptivus, from descript-, past participle stem of describere (see description). Related: Descriptively; descriptiveness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper