Definitions for formativeˈfɔr mə tɪv

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

form•a•tiveˈfɔr mə tɪv(adj.)

  1. giving form or shape; forming; shaping.

  2. pertaining to formation or development:

    a child's formative years.

  3. capable of developing new cells or tissue by cell division and differentiation: concerned with the formation of an embryo, organ, or the like.

    formative tissue.

    Category: Developmental Biology

  4. pertaining to or used in the formation of words.

    Category: Grammar, Language/Linguistics

  5. (n.)a derivational affix, esp. one that determines the part of speech of the derived word, as -ness in loudness, hardness, etc.

    Category: Grammar

  6. (in a generative grammar) any minimal element of syntax, as a word or affix, that can be used in forming larger constructions.

    Category: Language/Linguistics

Origin of formative:

1480–90; < MF formatif


Princeton's WordNet

  1. formative(adj)

    minimal language unit that has a syntactic (or morphological) function

  2. formative(adj)

    capable of forming new cells and tissues

    "a formative zone in developing bone"

  3. formative, shaping, plastic(adj)

    forming or capable of forming or molding or fashioning

    "a formative influence"; "a formative experience"


  1. formative(Noun)

    A language unit that has morphological function.

  2. formative(Adjective)

    Of or pertaining to the formation and subsequent growth of something.

    My formative years were spent in an inner city.

  3. formative(Adjective)

    Capable of forming something.

  4. formative(Adjective)

    Capable of producing new tissue.

  5. formative(Adjective)

    Pertaining to the inflection of words.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Formative(adj)

    giving form; having the power of giving form; plastic; as, the formative arts

  2. Formative(adj)

    serving to form; derivative; not radical; as, a termination merely formative

  3. Formative(adj)

    capable of growth and development; germinal; as, living or formative matter

  4. Formative(noun)

    that which serves merely to give form, and is no part of the radical, as the prefix or the termination of a word

  5. Formative(noun)

    a word formed in accordance with some rule or usage, as from a root


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