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

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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

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Time Traveler for optative

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

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Cite this Entry

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

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