- having the quality of describing; characterized by description: a descriptive passage in an essay.
- (of an adjective or other modifier) expressing a quality of the word it modifies, as fresh in fresh milk.Compare limiting(def 2).
- (of a clause) nonrestrictive.Compare restrictive(def 4).
- noting, concerned with, or based upon the fact or experience.
- characterized by or based upon the classification and description of material in a given field: descriptive botany.
- characterized by or containing description; serving to describe
- grammar (of an adjective) serving to describe the referent of the noun modified, as for example the adjective brown as contrasted with my and former
- relating to or based upon description or classification rather than explanation or prescriptiondescriptive linguistics
adj.1751, from Late Latin descriptivus, from descript-, past participle stem of describere (see description). Related: Descriptively; descriptiveness.