AskDefine | Define partitive

Dictionary Definition

partitive adj
1 (Romance languages) relating to or denoting a part of a whole or a quantity that is less than the whole; "a partitive construction"
2 indicating or characterized by or serving to create partition or division into parts; "partitive tendencies in education"
3 serving to separate or divide into parts; "partitive tendencies in education"; "the uniting influence was stronger than the separative" [syn: separative] n : word (such a `some' or `less') that is used to indicate a part as distinct from a whole

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. that divides something into parts
  2. indicating a part rather than the whole of something; e.g. some

Derived terms



  1. a partitive word, phrase or case


Extensive Definition

The partitive can refer to several things:
The partitive refers to the selection of a part/quantity out of a group/amount. It is used for example in Estonian (the third case), in Latin, German and Russian, expressed by the genitive case, and in French, expressed with the preposition de (and its contracted forms).
Examples (with the partitive marked in italics):
  • many of my friends
  • the youngest of the children
  • a glass of wine.
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