Definition of disjunctive in English:



  • 1Lacking connection or consistency.

    ‘the novel's disjunctive detail’
    • ‘In these later works, the two elements are physically disjunctive.’
    • ‘Though historical scholarship (or at least something akin to that) was not entirely unknown in South Asia, the history the colonial historians produced was disjunctive with the constructions of the past the South Asians knew.’
    • ‘These realizations made their marks on his own disjunctive history.’
    • ‘The difference - the fundamental difference between theater acting and film acting is that film acting is disjunctive.’
    • ‘The book is a series of disjunctive jottings, often compelling in themselves, but not always smoothly related.’
    • ‘I should probably be more careful of my disjunctive anecdotes in class, lest any inferences between the story and the actual topic at hand are accidentally made.’
    • ‘The revolutionary illusions have gone, but the disjunctive approach to reality (which gave rise to those illusions) lives on.’
    • ‘Issues of artistic identity, the pleasure of looking and political responsibility result from an exploration of disjunctive image and sound.’
    • ‘For them to call themselves a community group is disjunctive with the use of language.’
    • ‘The turn of a corner, like the flick of a film frame, can redefine the nature of a disjunctive, heterogeneous spatial continuum.’
    • ‘The allusions are swift, the collisions reminiscent of the ‘ply over ply’ technique of Ezra Pound's Cantos, but to more disjunctive ends.’
    • ‘Swensen reins in the use of disjunctive techniques, as Gander does, by structuring the volume according to a clear pattern.’
  • 2Grammar
    (of a conjunction) expressing a choice between two mutually exclusive possibilities, for example or in she asked if he was going or staying.

    Compare with copulative
    • ‘This is particularly evident with disjunctive queries, which use the minus sign to exclude particular search terms.’
    • ‘You could object a bit to the way the disjunctive choice is set up.’
    • ‘All three articles attempt to clarify the determinate-determinable relation by explaining the nature of disjunctive and conjunctive predicates.’
    • ‘But it is a fair presumption that the belief in exclusive disjunctive uses of or in English includes just such three-disjunct uses of or.’
    • ‘Funk points out that the particle H displays its sharpest disjunctive characteristics in interrogative sentences.’
    1. 2.1Logic (of a proposition) expressing alternatives.
      • ‘The inference rule of disjunctive syllogism, while truth-preserving, is not falsity-avoiding.’
      • ‘He also discusses the disjunctive propositions which follow from a conditional proposition.’
      • ‘Creationists are thus accused of the fallacy of false alternatives, that is, the disjunctive premise leaves out a possible alternative.’
      • ‘Some philosophers suggest that there is an important logical difference between disjunctive predicates, on the one hand, and disjunctive properties or universals, on the other.’
      • ‘This is an algebraic expression of the disjunctive normal form theorem of sentential logic.’


  • 1A disjunctive conjunction or other word.

    • ‘Ultimately, all disjunctives are part of the same continuum as conjunctives.’
    • ‘Further, this view requires us to alter the language of clause (B) to replace the "or" disjunctives with "and" conjunctives.’
    • ‘The intensity of the disjunctive which any particular H conveys is dependent upon its context.’
    1. 1.1Logic A disjunctive proposition.
      • ‘The standard way of defining disjunctives in logic is in terms of their truth tables’
      • ‘But it follows anyway that the laws of intricate logic for hypotheticals may be used to obtain analogous laws for disjunctives; and vice versa.’
      • ‘The critical interpretive question is whether the disjunctive should be viewed either as two separate conditions, or as two different ways of describing the same condition.’


Late Middle English (in disjunctive (sense 2 of the adjective)): from Latin disjunctivus, from disjunct- ‘disjoined’ (see disjunct).