: serving to describe <a descriptive account>
a : referring to, constituting, or grounded in matters of observation or experience <the descriptive basis of science>
b : factually grounded or informative rather than normative, prescriptive, or emotive <descriptive cultural studies>
of a modifier
a : expressing the quality, kind, or condition of what is denoted by the modified term <hot in “hot water” is a descriptive adjective>
b : nonrestrictive
: of, relating to, or dealing with the structure of a language at a particular time usually with exclusion of historical and comparative data <descriptive linguistics>
— de·scrip·tive·ly adverb
— de·scrip·tive·ness noun
Examples of DESCRIPTIVE
- She gave a descriptive account of the journey.
- a talent for descriptive writing
- a poem full of descriptive detail
- The black cat was given the descriptive name “Midnight.”
- The book is a descriptive grammar.
First Known Use of DESCRIPTIVE
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