Definition of correlative in English:



  • 1Having a mutual relationship; corresponding.

    ‘rights, whether moral or legal, can involve correlative duties’
    • ‘At best it seems to be a correlative relationship, and that should not provide justification for censorship.’
    • ‘Although both mind and the sensory faculty receive their correlative forms when perceiving or thinking, neither is wholly passive in its defining activity.’
    • ‘That is there is a tendency to misspecify the contingent nature of at least some spatial relations as necessary aspects of the social relations with which they are correlative.’
    • ‘Of course, a problem with correlative studies such as the present one is that the probability of detecting reproductive costs based on natural variation is low, if individuals adjust reproductive effort to environmental conditions.’
    • ‘The conception and the method are intimately correlative.’
    • ‘In order to determine the causative or correlative relationships between chemicals and a toxic effect, laboratory and reporting procedures require clear experimentation.’
    • ‘In short a correlative relationship developed between capital and alternative cultural formations.’
    • ‘To explore possible correlative effects among physiological and growth traits, we conducted two separate analyses of covariance, using the main effects of treatment and species.’
    • ‘Does a right always involve a correlative duty?’
    • ‘However, even this correlative approach does not necessarily demonstrate the underlying mechanism, especially given the diversity of changes in gene expression, and the likely multi-component nature of resistance.’
    • ‘This is not a claim-right, because it involves no correlative duty.’
    • ‘It has proved difficult to establish causal rather than merely correlative relationships between carbohydrate accumulation and cold tolerance.’
    • ‘These are not merely correlative pairs; they are ranked pairs in which the first item is taken to be naturally superior to the second.’
    • ‘Governments and others have a correlative duty not to interfere, except to prevent the most egregious forms of behavior.’
    • ‘This correlative construct helps us organize the wide array of histologic, physiologic, clinical, and radiologic features that have been used to describe various bronchiolar disorders.’
    • ‘It was also important to determine the degree of universality of the correlative relationships between free amino acid levels and leaf senescence.’
    • ‘Whether this represents a cause and effect relationship or simply is correlative remains to be determined.’
    • ‘He has the obligation and responsibility of supporting, maintaining and protecting the family and the correlative right to exclude intruders and unwanted visitors from the home.’
    • ‘To find out how his intervention affected individuals, he substituted a correlative design for a study of 22 patients with various kinds of supposedly incurable cancer.’
    • ‘But when a duty of this kind is imposed for the benefit of particular persons, there arises at common law a correlative right in those persons who may be injured by its contravention.’
    reciprocal, reciprocated, requited, returned, give-and-take, interchangeable, interactive, complementary
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Grammar (of words such as neither and nor) corresponding to each other and regularly used together.
      • ‘Both coordinators and subordinators may be reinforced by being combined with correlatives, a term used both for the reinforcing item and for that item and the conjunction it accompanies.’


  • A word or concept that has a mutual relationship with another word or concept.

    ‘the child's right to education is a correlative of the parent's duty to send the child to school’
    • ‘Indeed, with this powerful haptic and aural dimensions, it dethrones the classic dominion of ‘sight’ (with its correlatives of omniscience and surveillance).’
    • ‘But the demons are also object correlatives for the characters' emotions - emotions that could seem all too trivial to a detached observer.’
    • ‘Salvation and sin are correlatives more than opposites.’
    • ‘It is an early modern concept, although it has correlatives from the time of the Greeks in allied concepts of stress, debility, appetitive, and saturnine behaviour.’
    • ‘Importantly, the contents of this great author's texts are always described, whether through the voice-overs, or by sounds intended as correlatives to the subject matter of the books, but it is never directly read.’
    • ‘They are a form of artistic practice, with an art historical context and correlatives in documentary production, self-portraiture, and performance.’
    • ‘Committed to his formula, Eliot fails to acknowledge that, at its deepest, modern art, from Shakespeare on, increasingly presents subjective correlatives.’
    • ‘Many of the poems intertwine these correlatives and explore his ambiguous relationship to them.’
    • ‘Second, it's a very complex world, and it becomes a correlative of Mahler's psychological complexity.’
    • ‘For him, one feels, the kitsch motif is first and last an occasion for pictorial experiment, as well as being a perfect correlative for the gratuitous choice to paint in the 21st century.’
    • ‘But both works are disciplined demonstrations of film-making's array of formal correlatives for extremes of human experience and perception.’
    • ‘This suggests that Hemingway composed his story not only with leitmotifs and correlatives but also with key phrases identifying other Nick stories, and that he expected the reader to find them.’
    • ‘The correlatives of the signifieds aroused by such signifiers are emotional states; they remain private to each hearer and cannot be compared with each other, and so consensus cannot be achieved.’
    • ‘Although gold has long been viewed as the correlative of a weaker dollar, we have always felt that its long term viability as a genuine safe haven alternative rested on a broadening loss of confidence in paper currencies in general.’
    • ‘Her aim is, explicitly, understanding, and subsequent to that medical and social legislation, but she is also drawn by the efforts of poets and artists to find convincing correlatives for the kind of suffering that leads to suicide.’
    • ‘He proposes this singular, jarring experience as the physical correlative to a spiritual reality.’
    • ‘Beyond establishing shots, Tarkovsky eschews their narrative correlatives, beginning the film with an opening scroll of uncertainties and ellipses.’
    • ‘It should not be a surprise that correlatives of these mind-boggling and counterintuitive models would appear somewhere within adjacent fields of cultural endeavor.’
    • ‘If the tragedy of the poem consists in Prufrock's fear of and failure to risk vulnerability, these lines configure that fear with a precise correlative for paralysis.’
    • ‘There are four other concepts which are correlatives to these.’
    equivalent, opposite number, peer, equal, parallel, complement, match, twin, mate, fellow, brother, sister, analogue
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century: from medieval Latin correlativus, from cor- ‘together’ + late Latin relativus (see relative).