Definition of indicative in US English:



  • 1Serving as a sign or indication of something.

    ‘having recurrent dreams is not necessarily indicative of any psychological problem’
    • ‘The fact that we have kept so many clients for so many years is more indicative of the service we have provided.’
    • ‘The 3% average growth rate for the first two quarters is more indicative of the economy's true performance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Popular culture is much more indicative of what people do than what they say they do.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The above rentals are only indicative and subject to review quarterly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One thing to bear in mind is that like any show, the first few episodes aren't very indicative of what is to come.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The subtitle is more indicative of the contents.’
    • ‘Nothing could be more indicative of how the game has changed.’
    • ‘How stupid, how sappy, how very indicative of my age and immaturity.’
    • ‘Our finishes are not indicative of how the cars ran.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of all of Hitchcock's films, Rear Window is most indicative of his major obsessions.’
    • ‘However, a lot more indicative of such problems was the team's performance in the last three of its matches in the round stage.’
    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
    • ‘If a regular pronoun and indicative mood are used, it shows that the speaker asserts that the report is true.’
    • ‘The third-person singular indicative ending in Shakespeare's verbs could be either s, as now, or the older th.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He wants to move the claim from the conditional to the indicative mood, as the grammarians would say.’
    • ‘Now, in the non-standard dialects that have it, this is an indicative past tense.’


  • 1A verb in the indicative mood.

    • ‘This imperative is followed by an indicative: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’’
    • ‘And the form is, of course, the first-person singular present active indicative.’
    • ‘The New Testament reveals a double indicative into which a double indicative is interwoven.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Is ‘preserve’ in a poem being discussed an indicative or subjunctive?’
    1. 1.1the indicative The indicative mood.
      • ‘The indicative is a statement of fact or the proclamation of truth.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘This is not simply to avoid criticisms of judgment speech by translating it from the indicative to the optative.’
      • ‘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 conditional was, in like manner, the infinitive plus a shortened form of the past descriptive indicative of haber.’
      • ‘Moreover, the shift in grammatical mood from subjunctive to indicative underscores how plausible this vision is.’


Late Middle English: from French indicatif, -ive, from late Latin indicativus, from the verb indicare (see indicate).