Definition of formative in English:


Line breaks: for¦ma|tive
Pronunciation: /ˈfɔːmətɪv


  • 1Serving to form something, especially having a profound influence on a person’s development: his formative years
    More example sentences
    • But to begin with, let's listen to her thesis about the history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - and some of the formative influences in its development.
    • He recalls in bright detail the books, teachers and mentors who served as formative influences in his intellectual development.
    • However, Ruby's insightful arguments and the formative influence of his work mark this collection as one that merits close attention from anthropologists and filmmakers alike.
  • 1.1Relating to a person’s development: a formative assessment
    More example sentences
    • The system for portfolio development described in the syllabus reflects periodic formative assessment, but thus far it has been difficult to adhere to the timing of this system.
    • Researchers developed the intervention based on formative research needs assessment with the target audience.
    • In the progress of an effective peer learning program, goals, tasks, and interactions form a reciprocity loop, with formative assessment enabling transition from one to the other.
  • 1.2 Linguistics Denoting or relating to any of the smallest meaningful units that are used to form words in a language, typically combining forms and inflections.


Linguistics Back to top  
  • A formative element.
    More example sentences
    • Do consumers perceive new ‘e’ and ‘i- ‘formatives as ready-made brand names or as new public domain terms?’
    • Different formatives may be customary depending on the verb from which the action nominal derives.
    • Paradigms and different formatives have been presented over and over again as well as word formation means.



More example sentences
  • Portfolios, or collections of student work, may also be used formatively if students and teachers annotate the entries and observe growth over time and practice.
  • The term can mean gathering information, both formatively and summatively, about what students have learned - and this, then, would look directly to the desired outcomes of learning.
  • Students are assessed both formatively and summatively in each discipline.


late 15th century: from Old French formatif, -ive or medieval Latin formativus, from Latin formare 'to form' (see form).

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