op·​ta·​tive ˈäp-tə-tiv How to pronounce optative (audio)
: of, relating to, or constituting a verbal mood that is expressive of wish or desire
: of, relating to, or constituting a sentence that is expressive of wish or hope
: expressing desire or wish
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, 30 Mar. 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near optative

Cite this Entry

“Optative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optative. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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