Share this entry
dative Syllabification: da·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈdādiv/

Definition of dative in English:


(In Latin, Greek, German, and other languages) denoting a case of nouns and pronouns, and words in grammatical agreement with them, indicating an indirect object or recipient.
Example sentences
  • The Greek preposition had several meanings, depending on whether it governed the accusative, genitive, or dative case.
  • Sick's latest book is Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod, which features complaints about sporadic failures to use dative case marking according to traditional (?) principles.
  • A mantra is a kind of prayer that contains the name of God that is inflected grammatically in the dative case.


Back to top  
1A noun or other word of the dative case.
Example sentences
  • The particular example of ‘word rage’ that Bob cited involves one of these missing datives.
  • Classical Mongolian had seven cases, all clearly distinguished, in contrast to Latin: nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, ablative, instrumental, and comitative.
  • ‘Das Ereignis ‘and ‘die Kehre im Ereignis ‘were only two in a long line of titles for what must always already be the case if givenness and its dative are to come together at all.’
1.1 (the dative) The dative case.
Example sentences
  • It is the quintessential use of the dative case, the dative of means, grammatically speaking.
  • The dative is used to designate an addressee (recipient). The dative is also used to show an object towards which an action is directed.
  • The first and most common use of the dative is as an indirect object.


Late Middle English: from Latin (casus) dativus '(case) of giving', from dat- 'given', from the verb dare.

Words that rhyme with dative

Definition of dative in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources