in·​cho·​a·​tive in-ˈkō-ə-tiv How to pronounce inchoative (audio)
: initial, formative
the inchoative stages
: denoting the beginning of an action, state, or occurrence
used of verbs
inchoative noun
inchoatively adverb

Word History


borrowed from Late Latin incohātīvus, inchoātīvus "denoting the beginning of a verbal action," from Latin incohātus, inchoātus, past participle of incohāre, inchoāre "to start work on, begin, initiate" + -īvus -ive — more at inchoate

First Known Use

circa 1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inchoative was circa 1631

Dictionary Entries Near inchoative

Cite this Entry

“Inchoative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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