What does formative mean?

Definitions for formative
ˈfɔr mə tɪvfor·ma·tive

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word formative.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. formativeadjective

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

  2. formativeadjective

    capable of forming new cells and tissues

    "a formative zone in developing bone"

  3. formative, shaping, plasticadjective

    forming or capable of forming or molding or fashioning

    "a formative influence"; "a formative experience"


  1. formativenoun

    A language unit that has morphological function.

  2. formativeadjective

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

    My formative years were spent in an inner city.

  3. formativeadjective

    Capable of forming something.

  4. formativeadjective

    Capable of producing new tissue.

  5. formativeadjective

    Pertaining to the inflection of words.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Formativeadjective

    Having the power of giving form; plastick.

    Etymology: from formo, Latin.

    As we have established our assertion of the seminal production of all kinds of animals; so likewise we affirm, that the meanest plant cannot be raised without seed, by any formative power residing in the soil. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Formativeadjective

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

  2. Formativeadjective

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

  3. Formativeadjective

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

  4. Formativenoun

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

  5. Formativenoun

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

  6. Etymology: [Cf. F. formatif.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce formative?

How to say formative in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of formative in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of formative in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of formative in a Sentence

  1. Nicholas Hoult:

    We wanted to honor him and tell our story that we thought was fascinating about his formative years that everyone, I feel as a fan...would be intrigued by, mirror Mirror.

  2. Lim Eul-chul:

    We have become accustomed to seeing her in a more public role, but Kim Yo Jong’s political roots and her formative career experience are behind the scenes, not sitting on a platform listening to speeches.

  3. Le Roux:

    These were real jobs, these jobs were formative, for them and for myself.

  4. Art Cohn:

    The principal value, in my opinion, is it connects us to 1776 and the formative years of this country.

  5. Army Lieutenant General Raymond Thomas:

    That particular part of ungoverned space requires potentially unique special operations solutions and we're attempting to provide those options to the chain of command, we've already identified some formative organizations that we hope to be able to work with in the future.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for formative

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for formative »


Find a translation for the formative definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these formative definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "formative." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 2 Dec. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/formative>.

    Are we missing a good definition for formative? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    boldly resisting authority or an opposing force
    • A. aculeate
    • B. defiant
    • C. ravening
    • D. appellative

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for formative: