Share this entry

Share this page

attributive

Syllabification: at·trib·u·tive
Pronunciation: /əˈtribyədiv
 
/

Definition of attributive in English:

adjective

Grammar
(Of an adjective or noun) preceding the word it qualifies or modifies and expressing an attribute, as old in the old dog (but not in the dog is old) and expiration in expiration date (but not in date of expiration). Often contrasted with predicative.
Example sentences
  • Word combination often leads to strings of adjectives and attributive nouns, a style that began in Time magazine in the 1920s, with the aim of providing impact and ‘colour’.
  • In his introduction to the book, the 6th word is an attributive adjective.
  • When we use the expression a London Fog raincoat, we use London Fog as an attributive modifier of the noun raincoat.

Origin

mid 18th century (as a noun in the sense 'a word expressing an attribute'): from French attributif, -ive, from attribut 'an attribute', from Latin attribuere 'add to' (see attribute).

Derivatives

attributively

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • Tall may be used both attributively and predicatively, as in a tall man and The man is tall.
  • In the first case the description is used attributively, in the second referentially.

Definition of attributive in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈemyələs
adjective
seeking to emulate or imitate someone or something