per·​for·​ma·​tive | \ pər-ˈfȯr-mə-tiv, pə-\

Definition of performative

: being or relating to an expression that serves to effect a transaction or that constitutes the performance of the specified act by virtue of its utterance a performative verb such as promise — compare constative

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Other Words from performative

performative noun

Examples of performative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Likewise, Mercury in Leo is energetic, courageous, and extremely performative — but when the planet goes reverse, that vibrancy begins to fall a bit flat. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Your 2018 Guide to Surviving Mercury Retrograde," 26 July 2018 There's a final rose ceremony (???) even though Jason's gone, so this is just performative because Blake and Garrett are each getting roses. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The Bachelorette Season 14 Episode 9 Recap: Tears, Thailand, and Fantasy Suites," 23 July 2018 As Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos wrote, the cup became a source of outrage in large part because performative outrage does well on the internet. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "How Starbucks’s annual holiday cup became a battleground for the heart and soul of America," 2 Nov. 2018 Like a flag, the towering beehive symbolizes Winehouse’s performative side, an echo of other images peppered throughout of some of her most iconic performances (in good and bad ways) for which Wood was present. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Amy Winehouse Is Finally Free in a New Book of Photographs," 10 Aug. 2018 This performative facet of their relationship made the song all that more emotional, raw, and intimate to fans. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ has come full circle as an extremely online event," 6 Nov. 2018 In many of her performative works, the viewer is also an essential element in the installation. Tyrone Beason / Columnist, The Seattle Times, "Joy, peace feed black revolution in artist Natasha Marin’s new West Seattle exhibit," 19 Aug. 2018 Looking at social media and how my peers were unironically and enthusiastically adopting this performative healthy lifestyle only encouraged me further. Tasnim Ahmed, Allure, "I Bought Into the Commercialized Wellness Industry and It Left Me Broke (and Unwell)," 9 Aug. 2018 As the large families and multigenerational households of the Victorian era were replaced by the small nuclear family, the mother-daughter bond grew stronger and more performative. Kimberly Chrisman-campbell, The Atlantic, "The Curious History of Mommy-and-Me Fashion," 13 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of performative

1922, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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The first known use of performative was in 1922

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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