Definition of donative in US English:



  • A donation, especially one given formally or officially as a largesse.

    • ‘But these donatives were voluntary, even if they came to be regular and expected.’
    • ‘New emperors traditionally gave donatives to troops and citizens.’
    • ‘By the late Roman period, military pay had become inconsequential in value, and the main cash receipts of the soldiers were precious metal donatives, such as gold coins minted on imperial occasions such as accessions and jubilees.’
    • ‘He gave a donative to his soldiers to keep them happy.’
    • ‘At every door in succession, a shout is raised, and the inhabitants severally come forth, and bestow their kindly greetings and donatives of money.’
    grant, allowance, endowment, contribution, donation, bursary, gift, present, investment, bestowal, benefaction, allocation, allotment, handout
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  • 1Given as a donation.

    • ‘Within Littoralist art practice, donative art strategies extend the language of the altruistic gift into a more politically efficacious education about the nature of gift giving and reciprocity.’
    • ‘Specifically, he argues that such consideration should be postponed until ’… we are convinced that we have wrung all the supply we can out of the donative system.’’
    • ‘It is my strong belief that charities should honour that donative intent.’
    • ‘But the lack of an agreement for compensation does not always equate with donative intent.’
    • ‘To improve the efficacy of the donative system, he recommends an explicit assignment of property rights to donated organs be made to the Organ Procurement Organizations that currently solicit these donations.’
    1. 1.1historical (of a benefice) given directly, not presentative.


Late Middle English: from Latin donativum ‘gift, largesse’, from donat- ‘given’, from the verb donare (see donation).