Definition of emotive in US English:

emotive

adjective

  • 1Arousing or able to arouse intense feeling.

    ‘animal experimentation is an emotive subject’
    ‘the issue has proved highly emotive’
    • ‘It is a problematic and emotive issue as it relates to the most vulnerable and marginalised group in any society: children.’
    • ‘Film is an emotive medium, uniquely able to manipulate through lighting and music as well as words.’
    • ‘Money of course is a highly emotive subject, and often people allow their emotions to cloud their better judgement.’
    • ‘The debate ranged over many emotive ethical issues and in doing so lost sight of what was of benefit to the area as required by the statute.’
    • ‘This emotive subject was close to the hearts of many councils and generated a lot of comment.’
    • ‘The Great Famine affected all aspects of Irish life and remains one of the most emotive issues in modern Irish historiography.’
    • ‘It is also, I fancy, a far too emotive subject for me to handle in great depth.’
    • ‘It is easy to see why the issue is a particularly emotive one.’
    • ‘All I am saying to you is that all the rather emotive matters you are talking about can be dealt with in these other grounds.’
    • ‘Certain subjects are taboo, or too emotive to be examined with objectivity.’
    • ‘When a subject becomes as emotive as this one, then people will believe what they want to believe.’
    • ‘Urgent, thorough debate is needed on this very emotive subject, but the right people must be involved in that debate.’
    • ‘These issues involve difficult and emotive ethical problems.’
    • ‘Slavery is an emotive subject but has to be addressed head on.’
    • ‘The question I keep asking myself is why has fox hunting become such an intensely emotive issue in this country?’
    • ‘I knew how emotive and personal a subject it was and, therefore, my goal has been to question not to judge.’
    • ‘I believe the emotive issues will prove most important in the long run.’
    • ‘The presence of women in the armed services is an emotive subject.’
    • ‘The media's exploitation of emotive issues to boost circulation and to win rating battles is par for the course.’
    • ‘I think I would be too emotional; I couldn't make an objective decision on such an emotive subject.’
    inflammatory, controversial, contentious, emotional
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Expressing a person's feelings rather than being neutrally or objectively descriptive.
      ‘the comparisons are emotive rather than analytic’
      • ‘The refusal to acknowledge emotive arguments is annoying and very much in the vein of English Language Positivism.’
      • ‘At the end of the day, it is entirely up to you whether you buy or rent your home, and this is often an emotive rather than rational decision.’
      • ‘Note how the arguments for a monarchy are couched in emotive rather than rational terms.’
      • ‘Though her subject matter is emotional, her voice remains neither emotive nor nostalgic.’
      • ‘Is it not too late to have a rather more sceptical and much less emotive debate about global poverty?’
      • ‘I applaud the council for considering the facts rather than being swayed by emotive and at times inaccurate information.’
      • ‘I guess my cynical nature is rearing its head here, because it looks to me like your position is emotive rather than reasoned.’
      • ‘Tabloid newspapers also favour emotive words over objective descriptions of events.’
      • ‘In fact, words are often chosen as much for their emotive as their cognitive force.’
      • ‘I was equally disappointed to read the rather silly and emotive language used by the two councillors quoted.’
      • ‘We tend to become either pedantically descriptive or abstractly emotive, or both.’
      • ‘Susan has a whimsical, descriptive and deeply emotive writing style.’
      • ‘When it was suggested that his policy was a system of insurance, he at first accepted the term, but quickly backed away to a less emotive description.’
      • ‘However, the minister called for a less emotive and better informed debate on incineration and waste management.’
      • ‘Once I have assurances from both authorities I will look at the town as a whole and take a holistic view of the problem, rather than an emotive one.’
      • ‘Sorry if I am a bit emotive but I found the article really offensive.’
      • ‘Journalists answer that terrorism is an emotive term that compromises their objectivity.’
      • ‘The result is also meaningless as an emotive response to a complex problem.’

Usage

The words emotive and emotional share similarities but are not interchangeable. Emotive is used to mean ‘arousing intense feeling,’ while emotional tends to mean ‘characterized by intense feeling.’ Thus an emotive issue is one likely to arouse people's passions, while an emotional response is one that is itself full of passion. In sentences such as we took our emotive farewells, emotive has been used where emotional is appropriate

Origin

Mid 18th century: from Latin emot- ‘moved’, from the verb emovere (see emotion).

Pronunciation

emotive

/əˈmōdiv//əˈmoʊdɪv/