Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or being the grammatical case expressing possession, measurement, or source.
  • adj. Of or relating to an affix or construction, such as a prepositional phrase, characteristic of the genitive case.
  • n. The genitive case.
  • n. A word or form in the genitive case.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to that case (as the second case of Latin and Greek nouns) which expresses origin or possession. It corresponds to the possessive case in English.
  • n. An inflection pattern (of any given language) that expresses origin or ownership and possession.
  • n. A word inflected in the genitive case; a word indicating origin, ownership or possession.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to that case (as the second case of Latin and Greek nouns) which expresses source or possession. It corresponds to the possessive case in English.
  • n. The genitive case.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In grammar, pertaining to or indicating origin, source, possession, and the like: an epithet applied to a case in the declension of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, etc., which in English is called the possessive case, or to the relation expressed by such a case: as, patris, ‘of a father, a father's,’ is the genitive case of the Latin noun pater, a father.
  • n. In grammar, a case in the declension of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, etc., expressing in the widest sense a relation of appurtenance between one thing and another, an adjectival relation of one noun to another, or more specifically source, origin, possession, and the like; in English grammar, the possessive case.
  • n. Abbreviated genitive
  • Connected with or relating to generation.

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

  • adj. serving to express or indicate possession
  • n. the case expressing ownership

Etymologies

Middle English genetif, from Latin genetīvus, from genitus, past participle of gignere, to beget; see genə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Renaissance Latin casus genitīvus, literally "case pertaining to origin, birth", from genitus the perfect passive participle of gignō ("beget"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • _Words denoting a part are often used with the genitive of the whole, known as the «partitive genitive».

    Latin for Beginners

  • The possessive genitive often stands in the predicate, especially after the forms of «sum», and is then called the _predicate genitive_.

    Latin for Beginners

  • Words denoting a part are often used with the genitive of the whole, known as _the partitive genitive_.

    Latin for Beginners

  • Such a genitive, denoting the whole of which a part is taken, is called a «partitive genitive».

    Latin for Beginners

  • The genitive is the most interesting case in English, since it is the only one that you have a choice to use (as you could make an of-genitive as well).

    Book Review: “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue” « Motivated Grammar

  • So here it looks like the double genitive is the best option.

    2008 February « Motivated Grammar

  • But here’s what’s weird about Kilpatrick’s argument: he claims that the double genitive is wasteful.

    2008 February « Motivated Grammar

  • This zero grade form is attested in the dative, but not in the genitive, which is odd.

    My sweet honey bee

  • Even in classical authors however the so-called genitive absolute is sometimes not employed with the precision which grammarians might desire, e.g. -

    A Grammar of Septuagint Greek

  • In Mark 10: 6 the most likely use of the genitive is the genitive of apposition (or epexegetic genitive), such as the phrase "the temple of his body" (John 2: 21) .6 The second word refers to the same object as the first word, only identifying it with a different noun.

    Reasons To Believe -

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Nothing with "jen" in it can be *too* awful. ;)

    May 19, 2007

  • I never thought about it but I actually like the sound of genitive. It sounds maybe nicer in German pronunciation with the soft 'g'. Also, it's better, in my mind, than the unnecessarily harsh sounds that appear in the words 'Accusative' and 'Dative.' 'Nominative' too appears to be more friendly than it is. What are we left with for comfort? Only poor genitive, meek and modest.

    May 17, 2007

  • I don't have a problem with the genitive case. I just don't like the word genitive. We should call it, oh I don't know, possesstrophe or something fun and fairly indicative like that. For the full backstory, I'm the guy who gets all sensitive when he hears words that might have even an inkling of a glimmer of a negative connotation. See also The No-No List (to which this word has been added). I take pride in my reactionism. ;-)

    May 17, 2007

  • wwld? (substutite german or Russian or any other case-based language for Latin, I suppose.)

    May 17, 2007

  • This word just sounds dirty. Can we come up with an alternative?

    May 16, 2007