Definition of generative in English:



  • 1Relating to or capable of production or reproduction.

    ‘the female reproductive system and its generative cycles’
    • ‘It thus illuminates conceptual linkages in the model of generative fathering and provides feedback that can be used to refine such concepts.’
    • ‘It has seemed all but impossible to avoid the trap of an appropriationist logic of domination built into the nature/culture binarism and its generative lineage, including the sex/gender distinction.’
    • ‘For conservationists, the concept of biodiversity encapsulates a vision of orderly flows, in which the generative capacity of the environment functions productively.’
    • ‘Each haploid cell undergoes a mitotic division to produce the generative and vegetative nuclei.’
    • ‘In the silky upper layer the epiphytic organisms are most often attached to the generative and skeletal hyphae that make up this layer.’
    • ‘The genome contains instead a program of instructions for making the organism - a generative program - in which the cytoplasmic constituents of eggs and cells are essential players along with the genes.’
    • ‘As metaphors, they often speak of wombs, both as sexual and generative organs, or they may refer more abstractly to power points, voids which attract concentric lines of force and flow around themselves.’
    • ‘They are both a product of and a facilitator for future generative relationships.’
    • ‘There are two possible methods by which this could arise: by generative reproduction via unreduced gametes or by somatic mutations.’
    • ‘In effect, the potential for generative activity as parents is a social opportunity that is allocated differently across diverse social contexts.’
    • ‘The feel of place emerges from an ancestral aesthetic that is mediated by the generative and transposable effects of ancestral places.’
    • ‘Here, I wish to situate discussion of Italian-Australian cultural production as part of the diverse generative dynamics organic to Australian multicultural culture.’
    • ‘One of them is generative learning, in which people produce words from cues instead of passively reading them.’
    • ‘The degree of generative polyploidy is indicated using the letter ‘x’.’
    • ‘Continuing the consideration of the influence of the generative organs in the production of insanity, I come now to puerperal insanity.’
    • ‘The consistent elements of the generative conception are that form is reproduced consistently.’
    generative, procreative, propagative
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  • 2Denoting an approach to any field of linguistics that involves applying a finite set of rules to linguistic input in order to produce all and only the well-formed items of a language.

    ‘generative phonology’
    • ‘During this period, he became a leading figure in US linguistics, replacing a mechanistic and behaviouristic view of language with a mentalistic and generative approach.’
    • ‘The whole question is fascinating, because generative linguists have not tended to be interested in this question.’
    • ‘Functionalism as a linguistic approach is different from generative and cognitive approaches in that it makes no claim as to the cognitive reality of the mechanisms it proposes - that matter is irrelevant to its usefulness.’
    • ‘Since the years of generative semantics, it has been claimed that the adverbs ‘again’ and ‘almost’ have access to different parts of verbal meanings.’
    • ‘In this case, I suspect that the explanation has more to do the psychological complexities of real-time composition than with the logic of grammar, generative or otherwise.’
    fecund, fruitful, productive, high-yielding, prolific, proliferating, propagative, generative
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Late Middle English: from late Latin generativus, from generare beget (see generate).