Definitions

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

  • adj. Beginning; initial.
  • adj. Grammar Of or being a verb or verbal form that designates the beginning of an action, state, or event, such as the Latin verb tumēscēre, "to begin to swell.”

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. At the beginning, still in an unformed state.
  • adj. Aspectually indicating that an action is soon to begin.
  • adj. Inflected in or relating to the inchoative aspect.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Expressing or pertaining to a beginning; inceptive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In the state of inception or formation; incipient; rudimentary.
  • Expressing or indicating beginning; inceptive: as, an inchoative verb (otherwise called inceptive).
  • n. That which begins, or that which expresses the beginning of, an action or state; specifically, in grammar, an inchoative verb.

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

  • n. aspect with regard to the beginning of the action of the verb
  • adj. beginning to develop

Etymologies

Latin inchoativus, incohativus: compare French inchoatif. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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