[[t]ˈfɔr mə tɪv[/t]] adj.
1) giving form or shape; forming; shaping
2) pertaining to formation or development:
a child's formative years[/ex]
3) dvl
a) capable of developing new cells or tissue by cell division and differentiation:
formative tissue[/ex]
b) concerned with the formation of an embryo, organ, or the like
4) gram. ling. pertaining to or used in the formation of words
5) gram. a derivational affix, esp. one that determines the part of speech of the derived word, as -ness in loudness, hardness, etc
6) ling. (in a generative grammar) any minimal element of syntax, as a word or affix, that can be used in forming larger constructions
Etymology: 1480–90; < MF formatif form′a•tive•ly, adv.

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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  • Formative — Form a*tive, a. [Cf. F. formatif.] 1. Giving form; having the power of giving form; plastic; as, the formative arts. [1913 Webster] The meanest plant can not be raised without seed, by any formative residing in the soil. Bentley. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • formative — [fôr′mə tiv] adj. [OFr formatif < ML formativus < L formatus, pp. of formare: see FORM] 1. giving or able to give form; helping to shape, develop, or mold [the formative influence of a teacher] 2. of formation or development [a child s… …   English World dictionary

  • Formative — Form a*tive, n. (Gram.) (a) That which serves merely to give form, and is no part of the radical, as the prefix or the termination of a word. (b) A word formed in accordance with some rule or usage, as from a root. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • formative — index causal, causative, constructive (creative), original (initial), pliable, primary, prime ( …   Law dictionary

  • formative — (adj.) late 15c., from M.Fr. formatif, from L. format , pp. stem of formare (see FORM (Cf. form) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • formative — [adj] influential, impressionable determinative, developmental, immature, impressible, malleable, moldable, pliant, sensitive, shaping, susceptible; concepts 534,537 Ant. destructive, noninfluential …   New thesaurus

  • formative — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ serving to form something, especially having a profound influence on a person s development. DERIVATIVES formatively adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • formative — formatively, adv. formativeness, n. /fawr meuh tiv/, adj. 1. giving form or shape; forming; shaping; fashioning; molding: a formative process in manufacturing. 2. pertaining to formation or development: a child s most formative years. 3. Biol. a …   Universalium

  • formative — for|ma|tive [ˈfo:mətıv US ˈfo:r ] adj [only before noun] having an important influence on the way someone or something develops formative years/period/stages etc (=the period when someone s character develops) ▪ He exposed his children to music… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • formative — I. adjective Date: 15th century 1. a. giving or capable of giving form ; constructive < a formative influence > b. used in word formation or inflection 2. capable of alteration by growth and development; also producing new cells and tissues 3. of …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • formative — adjective (only before noun) having an important influence on the way someone s character develops : formative influence/effect etc: Parents have the greatest formative effect on their childrens behaviour. | formative years/period/stages etc… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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