Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or being the grammatical case that marks the recipient of action, that often indicates the indirect object of the verb, and that can be used with prepositions or other function words corresponding in meaning to English to and for.
  • n. The dative case.
  • n. A word or form in the dative case.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Noting the case of a noun which expresses the remoter or indirect object, generally indicated in English by to or for with the objective.
  • adj. this sense?) (law) In one’s gift; capable of being disposed of at will and pleasure, as an office or other privilege.
  • adj. this sense?) (law) Removable, as distinguished from perpetual; — said of an officer.
  • adj. this sense?) (law) Given by a judge, as distinguished from being cast upon a party by the law itself
  • adj. formed by two electrons contributed by one atom
  • n. The dative case.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Noting the case of a noun which expresses the remoter object, and is generally indicated in English by to or for with the objective.
  • adj.
  • adj. In one's gift; capable of being disposed of at will and pleasure, as an office.
  • adj. Removable, as distinguished from perpetual; -- said of an officer.
  • adj. Given by a magistrate, as distinguished from being cast upon a party by the law.
  • n. The dative case. See dative, a., 1.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In grammar, noting one of the cases of nouns and pronouns and adjectives in Indo-European languages, and in some others, used most commonly to denote the indirect or remoter object of the action of a verb, that to or for which anything is done.
  • In law: Noting that which may be given or disposed of at pleasure; being in one's gift.
  • Removable, in distinction from perpetual: said of an officer.
  • Given or appointed by a magistrate or a court of justice, in distinction from what is given by law or by a testator: as, an executor dative in Scots law (equivalent to an administrator).
  • n. The dative case. See I., 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the category of nouns serving as the indirect object of a verb

Etymologies

Middle English datif, from Latin (cāsus) datīvus, (case) of giving (translation of Greek dotikē ptōsis), from datus, past participle of dare, to give.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin dativus (appropriate to giving), itself from datus (the past participle of  ("I give")) + -ivus '-ive'. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It derives from omnibus, which is the dative plural of the Latin word omnis, so it means 'for all' - a 'vehicle for all'.

    Archive 2007-08-01

  • The word "ge" (or "ye" or however it was written centuries ago) is related to the Italian dative (indirect object) pronoun "glie" which is used similarly before other pronouns, both words apparently coming from the Latin dative pronoun ILLI.

    se le lo and mo

  • This construction is sometimes called the dative of separation.

    Ritchie's Fabulae Faciles A First Latin Reader

  • Despite making an academic distinction between the garden-variety dative and the so-called dative of agent, the distinction is hard to make out since both are purported to use the very same ending.

    Bonfantes and the 'dative of agent' distraction

  • [102] Sallust might have said _hujus imperii_, but he prefers the dative, which is a dativus incommodi.

    C. Sallusti Crispi De Bello Catilinario Et Jugurthino

  • Learn from the vocabulary the difference between _aliquís_ and _aliquí_. mátúrandum sibi, 'they ought to hasten,' more literally 'haste ought to be made by them'; mátúrandum (_esse_) is the impersonal passive, and sibi the so-called dative of the agent.

    Ritchie's Fabulae Faciles A First Latin Reader

  • They believed quite sincerely in the supreme importance of quadratic equations, and the rule for the special verbs that govern the dative was a part of their decalogue.

    The Professor's Commencement

  • Blomfield would add [Greek: ennoia] to the dative, which is easier.

    Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound and the Seven Against Thebes

  • In The Etruscan Language: An Introduction by Giuliano and Larissa Bonfante, first published in 1983 and republished in 2002 with little revision to speak of, the case endings -si and -le are labelled as "dative" on page 83.

    Bonfantes and the 'dative of agent' distraction

  • Unfortunately, these specialists are too confused themselves to be of much help since they also claim -si to be a "dative" in the same book, albeit with unsettling question marks beside their creative analyses 3.

    Liber Linteus and religious formulae, part 2

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