Definition of conative in English:


Line breaks: cona|tive
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒnətɪv


  • 1 Philosophy & Psychology Of or involving conation.
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    • Attitudes are predispositions to act in a particular situation and involve three elements: cognitive, affective, and conative.
    • It has to have some effect: political speech is conative or it is nothing.
    • It enters into every form of thinking and into many of our conative and emotional attitudes as well.
  • 2 Grammar Denoting a word or structure that expresses attempted action as opposed to action itself, for example at in he was kicking at the bicycle.
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    • Although they do not explicitly speak of an ingressive imperfect, they do mention the conative imperfect.
    • Additionally, 'break' verbs may appear in the simple intransitive construction while 'cut' verbs may appear in the conative construction.
    • In Greek, for example, the imperfective sometimes adds the notion of "try to do something" (the so-called conative imperfect).


late 19th century: from Latin conat- 'endeavoured' (from the verb conari) + -ive.

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