optative

adjective
op·​ta·​tive | \ ˈäp-tə-tiv How to pronounce optative (audio) \

Definition of optative

1a : of, relating to, or constituting a verbal mood that is expressive of wish or desire
b : of, relating to, or constituting a sentence that is expressive of wish or hope
2 : expressing desire or wish

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from optative

optative noun
optatively adverb

Examples of optative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web History is written in the indicative mood, but lived and remembered in the optative — the grammatical mood of wishful thinking. C. E. Morgan, New York Times, "Galloping Through History," 30 Mar. 2018

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

First Known Use of optative

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about optative

Time Traveler for optative

Time Traveler

The first known use of optative was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for optative

Cite this Entry

“Optative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optative. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

Comments on optative

What made you want to look up optative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!