nor·​ma·​tive ˈnȯr-mə-tiv How to pronounce normative (audio)
: of, relating to, or determining norms or standards
normative tests
: conforming to or based on norms
normative behavior
normative judgments
: prescribing (see prescribe sense 1) norms
normative rules of ethics
normative grammar
normatively adverb
normativeness noun
Thus the normativeness of truth is preserved, along with its transcendence of what is presently assertible … Colin McGinn
normativity noun
plural normativities
In our world of shifting gender normativity and embrace of non-traditional expression, the beauty world is reaching out to men—both with products that fit into masculine grooming routines, and ones that break all barriers. Samuel Hine
… notes that speaking up about being abused or assaulted is an opportunity to challenge the normativity of sexual violence. Leslie Sarinana

Examples of normative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Funeral For Justice represents another step in decentralizing the public discourse from Western normative standards, hopefully allowing for a better understanding of others and ourselves. Ana Leorne, SPIN, 3 May 2024 Embroidery, for Vezzoli, is an intimate practice, challenging normative notions of masculinity and femininity, as the exhibition’s curator Donatien Grau, the Head of Contemporary Programs at the Louvre Museum, points out. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, 19 Apr. 2024 This is thought to be due to personality being more malleable in younger age groups and amid changes to the normative tasks of adulthood; for example, transitioning to the workplace and relationship development. Talia Varley, Fortune, 12 Mar. 2024 The Parisienne’s static archetype seemed to embrace less normative, narrow ideals towards a wider scope of lifestyles and choices. Alice Pfeiffer, CNN, 6 Mar. 2024 There are normative models about how people should behave and then there is how people actually behave. London Business School, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 The normative assumption of Medicare policymakers has been physicians will simply increase their volumes — i.e., perform more services than patients actually need — to make up the shortfall. Jeff Goldsmith, STAT, 17 Jan. 2024 Other researchers note that sludge content can provide environments that are ideal for normative dissociation, or putting a brain on autopilot mode. Anna Mattson, Scientific American, 10 Jan. 2024 According to Zola’s 2024 First Look Report, 83% of couples are challenging the normative expectations tied to the wedding day, from toxic diet culture to the expectation that brides will change their last name. Boutayna Chokrane, Vogue, 13 Dec. 2023

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

Word History


French normatif, from norme norm, from Latin norma

First Known Use

1852, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of normative was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near normative

Cite this Entry

“Normative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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