Definitions

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

  • adj. Involving or characterized by description; serving to describe.
  • adj. Concerned with classification or description: a descriptive science.
  • adj. Grammar Expressing an attribute of the modified noun, as green in green grass. Used of an adjective or adjectival clause.
  • adj. Grammar Nonrestrictive.
  • adj. Linguistics Of or relating to the study or the description of a language or a specific stage of a language, with emphasis on constructing a grammar without regard to historical development, comparison with other languages, or advocated norms for correct or proper usage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or relating to description.
  • adj. Of an adjective, stating an attribute of the associated noun (as heavy in the heavy dictionary).
  • adj. Describing the structure, grammar, vocabulary and actual use of a language.
  • adj. Describing and seeking to classify, as opposed to normative or prescriptive.
  • n. An adjective (or other descriptive word)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Tending to describe; having the quality of representing; containing description

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Containing description; serving or aiming to describe; having the quality of representing: as, a descriptive diagram; a descriptive narration.
  • Milit., a short military history of each enlisted man, with a description of his person, and an abstract of his account with the government.
  • in geometry, usually defined to be a property or proposition which can be stated without introducing the idea of magnitude. But it would be better to say that it is a property or proposition which relates to the incidence or coincidence of points, lines, and other geometrical elements, in general, or that it is one which does not depend upon the particular system of measurement adopted. Thus, the proposition that two triangles are equal if a side and two angles of the one are equal to the corresponding side and angles of the other, may be regarded as descriptive; while the proposition that through any point in space a single parallel to a given line can be drawn, is indisputably metrical, not descriptive.
  • In geometry: Pertaining to the projective methods of Monge.
  • Not containing the idea of quantity or measurement.

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

  • adj. describing the structure of a language
  • adj. serving to describe or inform or characterized by description

Etymologies

From Latin dēscriptīvus ("containing a full description") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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