Definition of ablative in English:


Syllabification: ab·la·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈablətiv


  • 1 Grammar Relating to or denoting a case (especially in Latin) of nouns and pronouns (and words in grammatical agreement with them) indicating separation or an agent, instrument, or location.
    More example sentences
    • Indeed, the nominal part of this prepositional phrase is not in the nominative case; sub governs the ablative case.
    • My Mongolian had got as far as the ablative case and the important greeting noxhoi-khoi, ‘hold the dog’.
    • Of the six Indo-European cases capable of being governed by adpositions, the ablative and genitive singular were not distinguished outside of o-stems.
  • 2(Of surgical treatment) involving ablation.
    More example sentences
    • For ablative treatment procedures other than cryotherapy, local anesthesia with topical or injected lidocaine should be used.
    • It may be wise to biopsy all ‘warts’ before ablative treatment.
    • Disease limited to the liver is suitable for surgical resection or ablative techniques.
  • 3Of, relating to, or subject to ablation through melting or evaporation: the spacecraft’s ablative heat shield
    More example sentences
    • The craft survived the journey with a rounded, blunt heat shield covered with ablative material, which evaporated away to dissipate heat.
    • This heat shield is covered by an insulating layer protected by an ablative material in contact with the hot plasma flow.
    • Protected by an ablative thermal shield, the probe will decelerate to 400 metres per second.


Grammar Back to top  
  • 1A word in the ablative case.
    More example sentences
    • I don't see why the word couldn't be used for hairless, though I'll admit it might be more usual to have an ablative of respect in there somewhere.
    • No, I think I mean loco, from the Latin ablative for locus, meaning place.
    • Thinking of ablatives as Latin's version of English adverbial clauses and phrases may help you.
  • 1.1 (the ablative) The ablative case.
    More example sentences
    • Mention one example each of verbs followed by the nominative, the accusative, the genitive, the dative, the ablative.
    • The nominal system distinguishes five cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative.
    • Classical Mongolian had seven cases: nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, ablative, instrumental, and comitative.


late Middle English: from Old French ablative (feminine of ablatif), Latin ablativus, from ablat- 'taken away' (see ablation).

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