• Adjective



    Borrowing from fro adjectif, from Latin adiectīvum, from ad ("next to") + -iect-, perfect passive participle of iaciō ("throw") + -īvus, adjective ending; hence, a word "thrown next to" a noun, modifying it.

    Full definition of adjective



    1. (obsolete) Incapable of independent function.
      • 1899, John Jay Chapman, Emerson and Other Essays, AMS Press (1969) (as reproduced in Project Gutenberg)In fact, God is of not so much importance in Himself, but as the end towards which man tends. That irreverent person who said that Browning uses “God” as a pigment made an accurate criticism of his theology. In Browning, God is adjective to man.
    2. (grammar) Adjectival; pertaining to or functioning as an adjective.
    3. (legal) Applying to methods of enforcement and rules of procedure.
      • MacaulayThe whole English law, substantive and adjective.
    4. (chemistry, of a dye) Needing the use of a mordant to be made fast to that which is being dyed.



    • (applying to methods of enforcement and rules of procedure) substantive
    • (of a dye that needs the use of a mordant) substantive



    (plural adjectives)
    1. (grammar) A word that modifies a noun or describes a noun’s referent.The words “big” and “heavy” are English adjectives.
    2. (obsolete) A dependent; an accessory.



    1. (transitive) To make an adjective of; to form or convert into an adjective.
      • TookeLanguage has as much occasion to adjective the distinct signification of the verb, and to adjective also the mood, as it has to adjective time. It has ... adjectived all three.
      • 1832, William Hunter, An Anglo-Saxon grammar, and derivatives (page 46)In English, instead of adjectiving our own substantives, we have borrowed, in immense numbers, adjectived signs from other languages...
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