One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Expressing entreaty or desire; supplicatory; (specifically in Grammar, of a word, particle, mood, etc.) expressing a request or wish. Also as noun: a precative mood or expression.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in William Gurnall (d. 1679), Church of England clergyman. From post-classical Latin precātīvus of the nature of a prayer, expressing a wish, sought by prayer from classical Latin precāt-, past participial stem of precārī to entreat, pray + -īvus.
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