Definition of descriptive
1 : presenting observations about the characteristics of someone or something : serving to describe <a descriptive account>
2a : 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>
3 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
4 linguistics : 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>
Examples of descriptive in a sentence
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.
Origin and Etymology of descriptive
First Known Use: 1593
DESCRIPTIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of descriptive for English Language Learners
: giving information about how something or someone looks, sounds, etc. : using words to describe what something or someone is like
: providing facts about how a language is actually used rather than rules that tell people how it should be used
DESCRIPTIVE Defined for Kids
Definition of descriptive for Students
: giving information about what something is like <She wrote a very descriptive letter about her trip.>
Seen and Heard
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