Definition of generative in English:


Syllabification: gen·er·a·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈjenərətiv, -ˌrātiv


  • 1Relating to or capable of production or reproduction: the generative power of the life force
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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.
  • 1.1 Linguistics Applying principles of generative grammar.
    More example sentences
    • 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.


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

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