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[jen-er-uh-tiv, -uh-rey-tiv] /ˈdʒɛn ər ə tɪv, -əˌreɪ tɪv/
capable of producing or creating.
pertaining to the production of offspring.
  1. of or relating to generative grammar.
  2. using rules to generate surface forms from underlying, abstract forms.
Origin of generative
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Middle French generatif, Late Latin generātīvus. See generate, -ive
Related forms
generatively, adverb
generativeness, noun
intergenerative, adjective
nongenerative, adjective
ungenerative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for generative
  • Mega-takeovers are likely to be the preserve of big, cash-generative groups with simple structures.
  • Thought is valuable in proportion as it is generative.
  • The comparison between generative grammar and traditional grammar is illustrative.
  • Ideas flow in a generative nature, building on one another.
  • More significantly, many of us in the humanities miss the extent to which programming is a creative and generative activity.
  • Empirical research supporting the model, which is called the generative model, is summarized.
  • The generative process is slowed down, yet the pain and frustration of not writing is as acute as ever.
  • Invented spelling is a strategy, part of a generative writing process.
British Dictionary definitions for generative


of or relating to the production of offspring, parts, etc: a generative cell
capable of producing or originating
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 generative

early 15c., from generate + -ive. Use in linguistics is attested by 1959. Related: Generativity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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generative in Medicine

generative gen·er·a·tive (jěn'ər-ə-tĭv, -ə-rā'-)

  1. Having the ability to originate, produce, or procreate.

  2. Of or relating to the production of offspring.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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