Definition of desiderative in English:



  • 1(in Latin and other inflected languages) denoting a verb formed from another and expressing a desire to do the act denoted by the root verb (such as Latin esurire ‘want to eat’, from edere ‘eat’).

    • ‘This traditional interpretation had to be systematically verified for two reasons: the first was to explain the specificity of the category desiderative inside the complex verbal system of Vedic, and the second was the need to elucidate its historical links, currently claimed by most Indo-Europeanists, with other formally similar categories like the future in Old Greek and Celtic.’
    • ‘An interrogative use of shall with the first person subject forms what we might call desiderative.’
    • ‘Furthermore, I claim that even the advanced learners sometimes misuse the desiderative expressions when they forget to control their speech.’
    • ‘The imperative and all the indirect or oblique moods, as well as the desiderative forms and all the tenses, are expressed by means of separate words.’
    1. 1.1 Having, expressing, or relating to desire.
      • ‘There is a desiderative state in the animal, which programmes it to pursue or avoid certain things (or, more generally, to act) in various circumstances.’
      • ‘But many of the same issues arise for desiderative conceptions of the good as well, and it will be useful to discuss these at points.’
      • ‘Since each such change seems rationally required, the new desiderative profile will seem not just different from the old, but better; more rational.’
      • ‘Here the idea that God does not wish for any to perish speaks only of God's desiderative will, without comment on his decretive will.’
      • ‘In themselves, attention, interest, vivid presence to consciousness and the like would seem to be features of our emotional and desiderative biographies.’


  • A desiderative verb.

    • ‘And the data also shows that the learner misunderstands how to make the Japanese desideratives polite.’
    • ‘Verbs comprise verbal roots, but also their variations with prefix strings of preverb particles, and secondary formations for causatives, intensives and desideratives.’
    • ‘The verbs tenses are organized into four ‘systems’ (plus gerunds and infinitives, along with such creatures as intensives/frequentives, desideratives, causatives, and benedictives derived from more basic forms).’
    • ‘Like causatives and desideratives, denominatives follow the inflection of thematic verbs of the Present System.’
    • ‘One set of constructions-motion auxiliaries, desideratives, and reflexive causatives-involve linking to the internal a-subject.’


Mid 16th century: from late Latin desiderativus, from Latin desiderat- ‘desired’, from the verb desiderare (see desiderate).