Definition of stative in US English:



  • (of a verb) expressing a state or condition rather than an activity or event, such as be or know, as opposed to run or grow.

    Contrasted with dynamic
    • ‘On the one hand, then, it can be taken as a representation of the semantic structure of be; at the same time, it can be taken as a schematic representation of any stative verb.’
    • ‘I mean, so what if I use stative verbs in the progressive form, or use Chinese language structure for my English in daily usage?’
    • ‘Then too, the participles of verbs with intensifier un - don't generally permit stative readings.’


  • A stative verb.

    • ‘One thing I'm finding is that other people list verbs that I would consider perfectly normal verbs as being statives.’
    • ‘Exercise Five then asks learners to identify statives and adjective participles in an example paragraph.’
    • ‘On the other hand, some imperfectives are compatible with both present simple and present progressive, whereas others - the so-called statives, as in - are compatible only with the simple present.’
    • ‘The observation that ‘tokoro-da’ cannot combine with statives without enforcing a counterfactual interpretation can be explained by the redundancy ‘tokoro-da’ introduces if added to a stative.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin stativus, from stat- ‘stopped, standing’, from the verb stare.