Definitions

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

  • adj. Relating to, characteristic of, or used in calling.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a grammatical case in certain inflected languages to indicate the person or thing being addressed.
  • n. The vocative case.
  • n. A word or form in the vocative case.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to calling; used in calling or vocation.
  • adj. used in address; appellative; — said of that case or form of the noun, pronoun, or adjective, in which a person or thing is addressed; as, Domine, O Lord.
  • n. The vocative case

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to calling; used in calling; specifically (Gram.), used in address; appellative; -- said of that case or form of the noun, pronoun, or adjective, in which a person or thing is addressed.
  • n. The vocative case.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Relating to the act of calling or addressing by name; eompellative: applied to the grammatical case in which a person or thing is addressed: as, the vocative case.
  • n. In grammar, the ease employed in calling to or addressing a person or thing: as, Domine, ‘O Lord,’ is the vocative of the Latin dominus.

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

  • adj. relating to a case used in some languages
  • n. the case (in some inflected languages) used when the referent of the noun is being addressed

Etymologies

Middle English vocatif, from Old French, from Latin vocātīvus (cāsus), vocative (case), from vocātus, past participle of vocāre, to call; see vocation.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Late Middle English, from Middle French vocatif, from Latin vocativus ("calling"), from vocatus ("invocation"), from vocare ("to call"), from Proto-Indo-European *wek-, *wekʷ-, *wokʷ- (“give vocal utterance, speak”). See Latin vōx. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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