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[kop-yuh-ley-tiv, -luh-tiv] /ˈkɒp yəˌleɪ tɪv, -lə tɪv/
serving to unite or couple.
  1. involving or consisting of connected words or clauses:
    a copulative sentence.
  2. pertaining to or serving as a copula; serving to connect subject and complement:
    a copulative verb.
  3. serving to connect nouns, noun phrases, verbs, clauses, etc.:
    a copulative conjunction.
  4. of the dvandva type: Bittersweet is a copulative compound.
of or relating to sexual intercourse.
Grammar. a copulative word.
Origin of copulative
1350-1400; Middle English copulatif < Latin cōpulātīvus. See copulate, -ive
Related forms
copulatively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for copulative
Historical Examples
  • But the conjunction is often omitted in copulative and adversative clauses, as in Sec.

    An English Grammar W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
  • Note whether the complement of the copulative verb is an adjective or a noun.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • If incomplete, determine whether they are transitive or copulative verbs.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • They are chiefly of two sorts, the copulative and Disjunctive.

    The Comic English Grammar Percival Leigh
  • Noun clauses may also be used as the predicate complement with a copulative verb.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • I take it that it is affirmative, negative, copulative and restrictive; but that is—not all.

    The Mercy of Allah Hilaire Belloc
  • The whole point at issue turns upon the question whether the copulative and joins sentences or words.

  • The disjunctive, therefore, not the copulative, is the proper conjunction.

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
  • Draw a line under the object of every transitive verb and two lines under the complement of every copulative verb.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • Frame sentences in which the same verbs are not copulative ( 215).

British Dictionary definitions for copulative


serving to join or unite
of or characteristic of copulation
(grammar) (of a verb) having the nature of a copula
Derived Forms
copulatively, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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