Definitions for ergativeˈɜr gə tɪv

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ergative

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

er•ga•tiveˈɜr gə tɪv(adj.)

  1. of or designating a verb in which the subject of the intransitive construction is also the object of the transitive construction:

    The boat capsized. They capsized the boat.

    Category: Grammar

  2. of or designating a grammatical case, as in Basque or Georgian, that indicates the subject of a transitive verb and is distinct from the case indicating the subject of an intransitive verb. similar to such a case in function or meaning, esp. in indicating an agent as subject.

    Category: Grammar

  3. of or pertaining to a language that has an ergative case or in which the direct object of a transitive verb and the subject of an intransitive verb are paired grammatically by other means.

    Category: Language/Linguistics

  4. (n.)an ergative verb.

    Category: Grammar

  5. the ergative case.

    Category: Grammar

  6. a word in the ergative case.

    Category: Grammar

Origin of ergative:

1945–50; < Gk ergát(ēs) worker



  1. ergative(Noun)

    the ergative case

  2. ergative(Noun)

    an ergative verb or other expression

  3. ergative(Adjective)

    Used of various situations where the subject of transitive constructions have different grammatical cases or thematic relations to those of intransitive constructions.

    The case systems of ergative languages are counterintuitive to speakers of Indo-European languages.

  4. Origin: From the , from .


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