performative

adjective
per·​for·​ma·​tive | \ pər-ˈfȯr-mə-tiv How to pronounce performative (audio) , 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

White Feminism is performative justice that works to create the illusion of inclusion. Hannah L. Drake, Cosmopolitan, "Ivanka Trump’s Oprah Winfrey Tweet Is a Nauseating Display of White Feminism," 10 Jan. 2018 But an act of cancellation is still mostly conceptual or socially performative. Jonah Engel Bromwich, New York Times, "Everyone Is Canceled," 28 June 2018 First, even more than usual, there’s a performative aspect to it. David Roberts, Vox, "The caravan “invasion” and America’s epistemic crisis," 2 Nov. 2018 There is a performative aspect to Kanye's persona that's also worth keeping in mind. Joshua Rivera, GQ, "Kanye West Is Giving His Most Radical Performance Yet," 1 May 2018 With Skin Care Right Now Everyone seems to be buying face masks (for performative reasons or otherwise). Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "A Lot of Us Really Love Skin Care, Study Confirms," 1 Feb. 2018 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

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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Statistics for performative

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for performative

The first known use of performative was in 1922

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with performative

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