de·​mon·​stra·​tive | \ di-ˈmän(t)-strə-tiv How to pronounce demonstrative (audio) \

Definition of demonstrative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : demonstrating as real or true
b : characterized or established by demonstration
2 grammar : pointing out the one referred to and distinguishing it from others of the same class (as in that in "that house") demonstrative pronouns demonstrative adjectives
3a : marked by display of feeling made a demonstrative gesture
b : inclined to display feelings openly a demonstrative preacher



Definition of demonstrative (Entry 2 of 2)

: a word or morpheme pointing out the one referred to and distinguishing it from others of the same class : a demonstrative (see demonstrative entry 1 sense 2) word or morpheme the demonstratives "this," "that," "these," and "those"

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Other Words from demonstrative


demonstratively adverb
demonstrativeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for demonstrative

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of demonstrative in a Sentence

Adjective In the phrase “this is my hat,” the word “this” is a demonstrative pronoun. In the phrase “give me that book,” the word “that” is a demonstrative adjective.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The referee was staring right at Hurley and saw his demonstrative objection to the call but the penalty was not assessed to him. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Arizona State basketball uses strong second half to surge past Utah," 18 Jan. 2020 Beyond Bezos' reported interest, fans have been demonstrative in their desire for the Fords to sell the team. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Martha Ford won't be selling the Detroit Lions to Jeff Bezos – or anyone," 17 Dec. 2019 Some individuals lead by being the loudest or most demonstrative person in the room. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Cinco Ranch senior stands out in classroom, baseball field," 22 Dec. 2019 But as Monday night’s game progressed and the Ravens drew closer to another blowout victory, Peters became more demonstrative. Daniel Oyefusi,, "Ravens CB Marcus Peters snags interception vs. former team, gets into altercation with Rams’ Jalen Ramsey," 26 Nov. 2019 During regulation, Denis was not a demonstrative goalie. Jimmy Greenfield,, "Marc Denis was one of the NHL’s greatest shootout goalies. Could what worked for him work for the Blackhawks’ Robin Lehner?," 10 Dec. 2019 And while Bronx love is more demonstrative, Minnesotans are human, too, and any Twins games against the Yankees—or even a loss to the Astros, preventing such a matchup—will be no less painful for having been suffered in silence. Steve Rushin,, "The Curse of Bunned Meat and Breadsticks: Why the Twins Can't Beat the Yankees," 20 Sep. 2019 Not that Armstrong himself was verbally demonstrative, far from it. Kenneth Turan, Twin Cities, "‘Armstrong’ documentary examines the man behind the moon landing," 16 July 2019 The couple have just been oh-so-demonstrative since the start of their relationship but particularly recently. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Watch Alex Rodriguez Propose to Jennifer Lopez (Again) While They Both Work Out," 21 Nov. 2019

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

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First Known Use of demonstrative


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for demonstrative


Middle English demonstratyf "based on logic, pointing out (of a pronoun)," borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French demonstratif, borrowed from Late Latin dēmonstrātīvus "pointing out (of a pronoun), able to prove" (Latin, "displaying—in rhetoric"), from Latin dēmonstrātus, past participle of dēmonstrāre "to indicate, show, demonstrate" + -īvus -ive


Middle English demonstratyf, borrowed from Late Latin dēmonstrātīvum, noun derivative from neuter of dēmonstrātīvus demonstrative entry 1

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Time Traveler for demonstrative

Time Traveler

The first known use of demonstrative was in the 14th century

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Statistics for demonstrative

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Demonstrative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for demonstrative


How to pronounce demonstrative (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of demonstrative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : freely and openly showing emotion or feelings
grammar : showing who or what is being referred to



English Language Learners Definition of demonstrative (Entry 2 of 2)

: a word (such as "this," "that," "these," or "those") that tells who or what is being referred to


de·​mon·​stra·​tive | \ di-ˈmän-strə-tiv How to pronounce demonstrative (audio) \

Kids Definition of demonstrative

1 : pointing out the one referred to and showing that it differs from others In “this is my dog” and “that is their dog,” “this” and “that” are demonstrative pronouns.
2 : showing feeling freely a demonstrative person

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More from Merriam-Webster on demonstrative

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demonstrative

Spanish Central: Translation of demonstrative

Nglish: Translation of demonstrative for Spanish Speakers

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