Definition of declarative in English:



  • 1Of the nature of or making a declaration.

    ‘declarative statements’
    • ‘I address some of the issues that critics have raised, about how he makes people nervous with his morally declarative speaking style.’
    • ‘She has expressed her demand for action in a declarative form, rather than encode it in the more direct imperative form.’
    • ‘I am going to try to be careful with regard to these declarative judgments.’
    • ‘The narrative voice, written in Palahniuk's distinctively flat and declarative language, is a collective one.’
    • ‘I think this is a testament to his classroom method, which was questioning (not classically Socratic, because he did not call on unwilling students), rather than declarative.’
    • ‘For him and his reporters, they report in straightforward, declarative sentences, with none of the caveats that Bennett mentions.’
    • ‘Nothing exceptional here, or in the calm declarative prose in which the other stories are told.’
    • ‘Says Mr. Asman: ‘CNN, MSNBC, the media generally were not declarative enough in calling a spade a spade.’’
    • ‘I listened very closely for any sort of specific declarative denial.’
    • ‘The declarative gesture of the cigarette, almost stating, in the guise of a crime scene photograph, ‘here is what happened’, proves less complete and less transparent than at first appears.’
    • ‘Now it is very difficult for actors to lose that intonation because they're so used to not doing that downward declarative intonation, they're much more used to just kind of going up when they finish the sentence.’
    • ‘Her rhetorical skill, which incorporates fresh analogies, telling vignettes, and powerful declarative sentences, make these essays a pleasure to read.’
    • ‘In an age of staged, declarative theatre, Stanislavsky's came as a radical response to what was then a stilted performative norm.’
    • ‘But to the best of my knowledge this is the first time we've heard this about Rice - certainly in so declarative and unambiguous a fashion.’
    • ‘But the niceties of narrative structure, pacing and simple declarative English prose aren't her strong point.’
    • ‘He mingles odd yarns from rural south Alabama with a sprinkling of short, declarative sentences.’
    • ‘She combines confessional prose with cultural commentary, narrative with argument, plain declarative sentences with lovely lyrical passages.’
    • ‘Pare your entire review down to one declarative sentence for your headline.’
    • ‘The State of Jefferson web page greets its visitors with this declarative welcome: ‘You are now entering the State of Jefferson.’’
    • ‘Today's television environment is, more than ever, warmly hospitable to simple - and simplistic - declarative statements.’
    1. 1.1Grammar (of a sentence or phrase) taking the form of a simple statement.
      • ‘In the declarative clause, it is not the first auxiliary that is placed before the subject to make the interrogative.’
      • ‘The final phrase-structure rule shows that, in contrast to typical declarative English sentences, a verb can be proceeded by its object.’
      • ‘Perhaps because of his training as a newspaperman, Hemingway is a master of the declarative, subject-verb-object sentence.’
      • ‘Debate about the nature of an ‘Information Society’ becomes stifled in the international community when broad declarative terms such as these are used.’
      • ‘This is due to the fact that a simple, transitive, declarative clause in Lisu does not distinguish between agent and patient structurally.’
      • ‘Each time she chants it we encounter the essential use of the simple declarative sentence, the basic seed from which all speech proliferates.’
  • 2Computing
    Denoting high-level programming languages which can be used to solve problems without requiring the programmer to specify an exact procedure to be followed.

    • ‘The more configuration done through the browser, the more declarative the software, and thus easier to manage and more flexible.’
    • ‘Method and system for modeling and presenting integrated media with a declarative modeling language for representing reactive behavior’
    • ‘XSLT is a declarative language: Unnatural for programmers who have been trained in and have been doing procedural programming for years.’
    • ‘He is examining more declarative programming languages.’


  • 1A statement in the form of a declaration.

    • ‘The reverse case, with an imperative followed by a declarative, is also easy to illustrate, because of this construction.’
    • ‘It would be wrong to communicate anything other than the simplest of declaratives: We mourn, we persevere, we continue.’
    • ‘Known usually for somewhat opaque public statements, he ended his comment on the incident with a simple declarative: ‘Let the kids play.’’
    • ‘Where Bush is prone to short, simple declaratives and a Texan's folksy mannerisms, Kerry is a reserved New Englander known more for meandering deliberation and a self-described tendency toward ‘Senate-speak.’’
    • ‘I don't - unlike some - have to stoop to declaratives like ‘I loathe’: I've tried to stick to William Goldman's dictum of ‘show, don't tell.’’
    1. 1.1Grammar A declarative sentence or phrase.
      • ‘In English declaratives, for instance, it has to be subject first, then the verb, then the object (s).’
      • ‘In my last post on the subject, I admitted that I could accept subject-drop in a noninverted declarative, but not in a noninverted interrogative.’
      • ‘But imperatives, interrogatives and declaratives are grammatical forms, while demanding action or requesting or giving information are semantic roles.’
      • ‘The syntax of English says (for example) that the subject should precede the predicate in a normal declarative: The cat wants to go out rather than * Wants to go out the cat.’
      • ‘In Guyanese Creole an utterance such as i bai di eg dem ‘He bought the eggs’ is not formally distinguishable as an interrogative or declarative.’