Why was clemency trending last week?


[dih-skrip-tiv] /dɪˈskrɪp tɪv/
having the quality of describing; characterized by description:
a descriptive passage in an essay.
  1. (of an adjective or other modifier) expressing a quality of the word it modifies, as fresh in fresh milk.
    Compare limiting (def 2).
  2. (of a clause) nonrestrictive.
    Compare restrictive (def 4).
noting, concerned with, or based upon the fact or experience.
characterized by or based upon the classification and description of material in a given field:
descriptive botany.
Origin of descriptive
1745-55; < Late Latin dēscrīptīvus, equivalent to Latin dēscrīpt(us) (see description) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
descriptively, adverb
descriptiveness, noun
nondescriptive, adjective
nondescriptively, adverb
nondescriptiveness, noun
overdescriptive, adjective
overdescriptively, adverb
overdescriptiveness, noun
self-descriptive, adjective
undescriptive, adjective
undescriptively, adverb
undescriptiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for descriptive
  • It's a vivid record of life at society's lower depths by a writer who's learning the art of narrative and descriptive prose.
  • descriptive captions under each image enhance a sense of unity.
  • Theorists say that a focus on individual regions leads to work that is mushy and merely descriptive.
  • Have the students create riddles from descriptive words on the pictures of the animal they chose.
  • The dinosaurs roar and come with descriptive information, and new dinosaurs will be added in future updates.
  • As restaurants became more casual and menus as descriptive as cookbooks, dishes were easier to duplicate at home.
  • In library descriptive cataloging the definition of a monograph is a complete bibliographic unit or item.
  • The first attempts at online metaphors were descriptive.
  • Papers should include descriptive and informative details from students' research, and cite all sources used.
  • Such descriptive terms simplify complex realities, making them more mentally manageable.
British Dictionary definitions for descriptive


characterized by or containing description; serving to describe
(grammar) (of an adjective) serving to describe the referent of the noun modified, as for example the adjective brown as contrasted with my and former
relating to or based upon description or classification rather than explanation or prescription: descriptive linguistics
Derived Forms
descriptively, adverb
descriptiveness, 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 descriptive

1751, from Late Latin descriptivus, from descript-, past participle stem of describere (see description). Related: Descriptively; descriptiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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