Definition of generative in English:


Line breaks: gen¦era|tive
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛn(ə)rətɪv


  • 1Relating to or capable of production or reproduction: the female reproductive system and its generative cycles
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    • There are two possible methods by which this could arise: by generative reproduction via unreduced gametes or by somatic mutations.
    • Each haploid cell undergoes a mitotic division to produce the generative and vegetative nuclei.
    • Continuing the consideration of the influence of the generative organs in the production of insanity, I come now to puerperal insanity.
  • 2Denoting an approach to any field of linguistics that involves applying a finite set of rules to linguistic input in order to produce all and only the well-formed items of a language: generative phonology
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    • During this period, he became a leading figure in US linguistics, replacing a mechanistic and behaviouristic view of language with a mentalistic and generative approach.
    • Functionalism as a linguistic approach is different from generative and cognitive approaches in that it makes no claim as to the cognitive reality of the mechanisms it proposes - that matter is irrelevant to its usefulness.
    • The whole question is fascinating, because generative linguists have not tended to be interested in this question.



More example sentences
  • I hope I need not say that special respect for generativity does not require stigmatizing the non-generative.
  • After that perhaps twenty-year time period, a woman emerges fully into her new life of deeper uniqueness, generativity, nurturance, and creativity.
  • If you feel that kind of generativity, you'll never be bored with life.


late Middle English: from late Latin generativus, from generare 'beget' (see generate).

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