Definition of indicative in English:



  • 1Serving as a sign or indication of something.

    ‘having recurrent dreams is not necessarily indicative of any psychological problem’
    • ‘Nothing could be more indicative of how the game has changed.’
    • ‘How stupid, how sappy, how very indicative of my age and immaturity.’
    • ‘The above rentals are only indicative and subject to review quarterly.’
    • ‘Thinking about it, it is perhaps time for a general shake-up of road names and signs in this area to make them more indicative of their use.’
    • ‘The subtitle is more indicative of the contents.’
    • ‘The fact that we have kept so many clients for so many years is more indicative of the service we have provided.’
    • ‘However, a lot more indicative of such problems was the team's performance in the last three of its matches in the round stage.’
    • ‘Hearing strange noises in the night and letting the imagination run wild are quite natural human traits and not very indicative of diabolical or paranormal activity.’
    • ‘Many statistics may be damned lies, but nothing could be more indicative of how rugby has changed than one relating to the opening of Murrayfield in 1925.’
    • ‘These have also been coded as zero to denote missing data, though strictly speaking their failure to reply is more indicative of the question not being applicable to them.’
    • ‘Of all of Hitchcock's films, Rear Window is most indicative of his major obsessions.’
    • ‘It is quite indicative of the impact of this particular sport on film that the most prominent titles of both worlds of boxing movies have won Oscars for best picture.’
    • ‘Please look at the indicative criteria carefully before deciding which procedure to choose.’
    • ‘Our finishes are not indicative of how the cars ran.’
    • ‘Watching Paul glance over several times at Dan's guitar with a half smile was very indicative of how much Dan can blow everyone away while performing.’
    • ‘The 3% average growth rate for the first two quarters is more indicative of the economy's true performance.’
    • ‘One thing to bear in mind is that like any show, the first few episodes aren't very indicative of what is to come.’
    • ‘Popular culture is much more indicative of what people do than what they say they do.’
    symptomatic, expressive, suggestive, evocative, typical, characteristic, representative, symbolic, emblematic
    View synonyms
  • 2Grammar
    Denoting a mood of verbs expressing simple statement of a fact.

    Compare with subjunctive
    • ‘Now, in the non-standard dialects that have it, this is an indicative past tense.’
    • ‘Most questions, as well as most statements, are in the indicative mood.’
    • ‘One possible approach is to say that a proposition is what is expressed in a complete indicative sentence.’
    • ‘The third-person singular indicative ending in Shakespeare's verbs could be either s, as now, or the older th.’
    • ‘If a regular pronoun and indicative mood are used, it shows that the speaker asserts that the report is true.’
    • ‘He wants to move the claim from the conditional to the indicative mood, as the grammarians would say.’


  • 1A verb in the indicative mood.

    • ‘Is ‘preserve’ in a poem being discussed an indicative or subjunctive?’
    • ‘Thus, if a language has long-distance reflexivization with indicatives, then it will necessarily have it with (if relevant) subjunctives, infinitives, small clauses, and NPs.’
    • ‘This imperative is followed by an indicative: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’’
    • ‘The New Testament reveals a double indicative into which a double indicative is interwoven.’
    • ‘And the form is, of course, the first-person singular present active indicative.’
    1. 1.1The indicative mood.
      • ‘The conditional was, in like manner, the infinitive plus a shortened form of the past descriptive indicative of haber.’
      • ‘This is not simply to avoid criticisms of judgment speech by translating it from the indicative to the optative.’
      • ‘It's the first person plural present indicative of the verb ignoro, and it means ‘we do not know’ or ‘we take no notice of’.’
      • ‘Moreover, the shift in grammatical mood from subjunctive to indicative underscores how plausible this vision is.’
      • ‘Success is articulated not in the indicative but in the subjunctive: potential threats removed; future wars that don't have to be fought.’
      • ‘The use of the French reflexive in the present indicative stresses the innate auto-referentiality of his narrative.’
      • ‘The indicative is a statement of fact or the proclamation of truth.’