nom·​i·​na·​tive ˈnä-mə-nə-tiv How to pronounce nominative (audio)
senses 2 & 3 are also
ˈnä-mə-ˌnā- How to pronounce nominative (audio)
: of, relating to, or being a grammatical case (see case entry 1 sense 3a) that typically marks the subject of a verb especially in languages that have relatively full inflection
nominative case
: of or relating to the nominative case
a nominative ending
: nominated or appointed by nomination
: bearing a person's name
nominative noun

Examples of nominative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The term nominative determinism describes how certain people seem compelled towards a particular profession because of the influence of their surname. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2013 Competing as an individual after earning a nominative berth through the World Cup circuit, Carey earned a spot in the vault and floor exercise finals and only missed out on the all-around due to the rules that limit finals to two athletes per country. Time, 25 July 2021 Playwright Tina Satter’s enormously compelling film-directing debut adds another layer of cosmic irony to that nominative determinism. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 18 Feb. 2023 Obviously, science does not have a monopoly on nominative determinism. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2013 Those were nominative, meaning they could only be used by the gymnast who secured them, so if Carey made the four-person team, the Americans could not have replaced her. Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, 16 June 2021 Jade Carey of Arizona also has an Olympic berth locked up after earning a nominative spot based on her World Cup performances. Will Graves,, 27 June 2021 Jade Carey of Arizona also has an Olympic berth locked up after earning a nominative pot based on her World Cup performances. Will Graves, Chron, 27 June 2021 Skinner also was third on vault behind Biles and Jade Carey, who already has a nominative spot in Tokyo thanks to being the top finisher on both vault and floor in the individual apparatus World Cup series. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 26 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nominative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English nominatyf, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French nominatif, from Latin (casus) nominativus nominative case, from nominare; from the traditional use of the nominative form in naming a noun

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of nominative was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near nominative

Cite this Entry

“Nominative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


nom·​i·​na·​tive ˈnäm-(ə-)nət-iv How to pronounce nominative (audio)
: being or belonging to the case of a noun or pronoun that is usually the subject of a verb
nominative noun

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