One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Forming a boundary, limit, or extremity; = "terminal". Now rare.
2Bringing something, or coming to, an end; concluding, finishing.
3Constituting the ultimate object of an action; (of an object or end) ultimate, final. Compare "objective". Now rare.
4Of a grammatical case, a suffix, etc.: specifying an end limit in space or time; conveying the goal or target of an action. Also (in early use): dative.
5Of, relating to, or designating a verb or aspect of a verb which denotes a completed action, or the end or completion of an action.
1A word ending; specifically an inflectional or derivational suffix; = "termination". Now rare.
2Grammar. With the: the terminative case.
Late 15th century; earliest use found in Higden's Polychronicon. From post-classical Latin terminativus that brings to an end, concluding, directed to some ultimate object, that provides or forms a boundary from classical Latin termināt-, past participial stem of termināre + -īvus.
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