accusative

1 of 2

adjective

ac·​cu·​sa·​tive ə-ˈkyü-zə-tiv How to pronounce accusative (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or being a grammatical case (see case entry 1 sense 3a) that marks the direct object of a verb or the object of some prepositions
2
: accusatory
an accusative tone

accusative

2 of 2

noun

: the accusative case of a language : a form in the accusative case

Example Sentences

Noun a noun in the accusative
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
It is thought that the Austro-Goths spoke a language largely similar to the Hissy-Goths but with a heavier accent and a less accusative tone. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 13 June 2011 Young Audre thrived underneath and in spite of her mother’s accusative, watchful eye. Emily Bernard, The New Republic, 25 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accusative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English accusatif, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin accūsātīvus, from accūsātus (past participle of accūsāre "to find fault with, accuse") + -īvus -ive

Note: Accūsātīvus is the Latin translation of Greek (ptôsis) aitiatikḗ; the early Roman grammarians who coined it presumably had in mind the verb aitiâsthai, which means both "to accuse, censure" and "to allege as the cause." The base of aitiâsthai is aitía, which corresponds approximately in meaning with causa, the base of accūsāre. Nonetheless, if ptôsis aitiatikḗ is the "causal case," cāsus accūsātīvus does not really convey the same idea, and the translation is more apt etymologically than literally.

Noun

Middle English accusatif, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin accūsātīvus, from accūsātīvus accusative entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of accusative was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near accusative

Cite this Entry

“Accusative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accusative. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

accusative

adjective
ac·​cu·​sa·​tive
ə-ˈkyü-zət-iv
: of, relating to, or being the grammatical case that marks the direct object of a verb or the object of a preposition
accusative noun

More from Merriam-Webster on accusative

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