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

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

Middle English vocatif, from Old French, from Latin vocātīvus (cāsus), vocative (case), from vocātus, past participle of vocāre, to call; see vocation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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