9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[duh-mon-struh-tiv] /dəˈmɒn strə tɪv/
characterized by or given to open exhibition or expression of one's emotions, attitudes, etc., especially of love or affection:
She wished her fiancé were more demonstrative.
serving to demonstrate; explanatory or illustrative.
serving to prove the truth of anything; indubitably conclusive.
Grammar. indicating or singling out the thing referred to. This is a demonstrative pronoun.
Grammar. a demonstrative word, as this or there.
Origin of demonstrative
1350-1400; Middle English demonstratif (< Middle French) < Latin dēmonstrātīvus, equivalent to dēmonstrāt(us) (see demonstrate) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
demonstratively, adverb
demonstrativeness, noun
nondemonstrative, adjective
nondemonstratively, adverb
nondemonstrativeness, noun
predemonstrative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for demonstrative
  • The hall was packed with attentive but demonstrative people who seemed to regard her as an old friend.
  • Even if it has a reference, it is only demonstrative and not substantial.
  • Drummond is known for demonstrative behavior, but today's civil disobedience threw the world championships into momentary chaos.
  • Some air-kissers out there are wondering if they should be less demonstrative with all the warnings from public health officials.
  • It gives a demonstrative bittersweetness to a likable but small story.
  • Picture a crowd, excited and demonstrative to the point of ecstasy.
  • Negotiations must be backed up, when necessary, by timely and demonstrative military presence.
  • But her slinky, demonstrative performance is way out of proportion to the tepid film built around it.
  • Law has come to appreciate the coach's prodding him to be more demonstrative.
  • Weaver, a demonstrative pitcher, kept his composure at important moments.
British Dictionary definitions for demonstrative


tending to manifest or express one's feelings easily or unreservedly
(postpositive) foll by of. serving as proof; indicative
involving or characterized by demonstration: a demonstrative lecture
conclusive; indubitable: demonstrative arguments
(grammar) denoting or belonging to a class of determiners used to point out the individual referent or referents intended, such as this, that, these, and those Compare interrogative, relative
(grammar) a demonstrative word or construction
Derived Forms
demonstratively, adverb
demonstrativeness, noun
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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Word Origin and History for demonstrative

late 14c., "characterized by logic, based on logic," from Old French démonstratif (14c.), from Latin demonstrativus "pointing out, demonstrating," from past participle stem of demonstrare (see demonstration). Grammatical sense, "pointing out the thing referred to," is mid-15c. Meaning "given to outward expressions of feelings" is from 1819. Demonstrative pronoun is late 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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