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accusative

[uh-kyoo-zuh-tiv] /əˈkyu zə tɪv/
adjective
1.
Grammar.
  1. (in certain inflected languages, as Latin, Greek, or Russian) noting a case whose distinctive function is to indicate the direct object of a verb or the object of certain prepositions.
  2. similar to such a case form in function or meaning.
2.
Linguistics. pertaining to a type of language in which there is an accusative case or in which subjects of transitive verbs behave the same way as subjects of intransitive verbs.
Compare ergative (def 2).
noun
4.
an accusative case.
5.
a word in an accusative case.
6.
a form or construction of similar function.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin accūsātīvus, equivalent to ac- ac- + -cūsātīvus, combining form of causātīvus (see causative) a loan-translation of Greek aitiatikḗ, in the sense of pointing to the origin or cause, accusing)
Related forms
accusatively, adverb
self-accusative, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for self-accusative

accusative

/əˈkjuːzətɪv/
adjective
1.
(grammar) denoting a case of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in inflected languages that is used to identify the direct object of a finite verb, of certain prepositions, and for certain other purposes See also objective (sense 5)
2.
another word for accusatorial
noun
3.
(grammar)
  1. the accusative case
  2. a word or speech element in the accusative case
Derived Forms
accusatival (əˌkjuːzəˈtaɪvəl) adjective
accusatively, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin; in grammar, from the phrase cāsus accūsātīvus accusative case, a mistaken translation of Greek ptōsis aitiatikē the case indicating causation. See accuse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for self-accusative

accusative

n.

grammatical case whose primary function is to express destination or goal of motion, mid-15c., from Anglo-French accusatif, Old French acusatif, or directly from Latin (casus) accusativus "(case) of accusing," from accusatus, past participle of accusare (see accuse).

Translating Greek ptosis aitiatike "case of that which is caused," on similarity of Greek aitiasthai "accuse." Greek aitia is the root of both, and means both "cause" and "accusation," hence the confusion of the Romans. A more correct translation would have been casus causativus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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