Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


Of, relating to, or being the grammatical case that marks the recipient of action, that often indicates the indirect object of the verb, and that can be used with prepositions or other function words corresponding in meaning to English to and for.
1. The dative case.
2. A word or form in the dative case.

[Middle English datif, from Latin (cāsus) datīvus, (case) of giving (translation of Greek dotikē ptōsis), from datus, past participle of dare, to give; see dō- in Indo-European roots.]

da′tive·ly adv.