Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

prescriptive

play
adjective pre·scrip·tive \pri-ˈskrip-tiv\

Simple Definition of prescriptive

  • : giving exact rules, directions, or instructions about how you should do something

  • : providing rules and opinions that tell people how language should be used

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of prescriptive

  1. 1 :  serving to prescribe <prescriptive rules of usage>

  2. 2 :  acquired by, founded on, or determined by prescription or by long-standing custom

prescriptively

adverb

Examples of prescriptive in a sentence

  1. Critics claim the new rules are too prescriptive.

  2. <even in this age of e-mail the prescriptive response to a wedding gift is a handwritten thank-you note>



1748

First Known Use of prescriptive

1748

Rhymes with prescriptive

ascriptive, descriptive, inscriptive, proscriptive


Law Dictionary

prescriptive

play
adjective pre·scrip·tive \pri-ˈskrip-tiv\

Legal Definition of prescriptive

  1. 1 :  serving to prescribe <prescriptive rules>

  2. 2 :  acquired by, founded on, or constituting prescription <a prescriptive right> <a longer prescriptive period>




Learn More about prescriptive


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up prescriptive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

articulated in the throat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

august-macke-lady-in-a-green-jacket

Which of these is a synonym of namby-pamby?

insightful insipid lithe energetic
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ