Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or relating to the assignment of names.
  • adj. Grammar Of or relating to a common noun.
  • n. A name or descriptive epithet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a common noun.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to ascribing names.
  • n. A common noun.
  • n. An epithet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to a common name; serving as a distinctive denomination; denominative; naming.
  • adj. Common, as opposed to proper; denominative of a class.
  • n. A common name, in distinction from a proper name. A common name, or appellative, stands for a whole class, genus, or species of beings, or for universal ideas. Thus, tree is the name of all plants of a particular class; plant and vegetable are names of things that grow out of the earth. A proper name, on the other hand, stands for a single thing; as, Rome, Washington, Lake Erie.
  • n. An appellation or title; a descriptive name.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the character of an appellation; serving to name or mark out; serving as a distinctive denomination; denominative: as, hydrochloric is a term appellative of a certain acid.
  • In grammar, common, as applied to a noun; general; denominative of a class: opposed to proper.
  • n. In grammar, a common name in distinction from a proper name; a name standing for a whole class: thus, the word man is the appellative of the whole human race, fowl of all winged animals, tree of all plants of a particular class, etc.
  • n. Title; appellation; nickname.

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

  • adj. pertaining to or dealing with or used as a common noun
  • n. identifying word or words by which someone or something is called and classified or distinguished from others
  • adj. inclined to or serving for the giving of names

Etymologies

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

Middle English, common (noun), from Old French appelatif, from Late Latin appelātīvus, from Latin appellātus, past participle of appellāre, to call upon, entreat; see appeal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin appellativus, from the stem appella- "to call", with the adjectival suffix -ive.

Examples

Comments

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  • adj., designating by name a thing of which more than one exists; related to the giving of names.

    n., a common (as opposed to proper) noun; appellation.

    July 13, 2008