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1. Expressing a wish or choice.
2. Grammar
a. Of, relating to, or being a mood of verbs in some languages, such as Greek, used to express a wish.
b. Designating a statement using a verb in the subjunctive mood to indicate a wish or desire, as in Had I the means, I would do it.
n. Grammar
1. The optative mood.
2. A verb or an expression in the optative mood.

[Middle English optatif, from Old French, from Late Latin optātīvus, from Latin optātus, past participle of optāre, to wish.]

op′ta·tive·ly adv.


1. indicating or expressing choice, preference, or wish
2. (Grammar) grammar denoting a mood of verbs in Greek, Sanskrit, etc, expressing a wish
(Grammar) grammar
a. the optative mood
b. a verb in this mood
[C16: via French optatif, from Late Latin optātīvus, from Latin optāre to desire]


(ˈɒp tə tɪv)

1. of or pertaining to a verb mood, as in Greek, used to express a wish or desire.
2. the optative mood.
3. a verb in the optative mood.
[1520–30; < Late Latin optātīvus= Latin optāt(us) (past participle of optāre; see opt, -ate1) + -īvus -ive]
op′ta•tive•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.optative - a mood (as in Greek or Sanskrit) that expresses a wish or hope; expressed in English by modal verbs
Sanskrit, Sanskritic language - (Hinduism) an ancient language of India (the language of the Vedas and of Hinduism); an official language of India although it is now used only for religious purposes
Ellas, Greece, Hellenic Republic - a republic in southeastern Europe on the southern part of the Balkan peninsula; known for grapes and olives and olive oil
modality, mood, mode - verb inflections that express how the action or state is conceived by the speaker
Adj.1.optative - indicating an option or wish
2.optative - relating to a mood of verbs in some languages; "optative verb endings"
grammar - the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology (and sometimes also deals with semantics)


A. ADJoptativo
B. Noptativo m


nOptativ m, → Wunschform f


1. adjottativo/a
2. nottativo
References in periodicals archive ?
In a space of optative desire, that is, we see the origin and meaning of events contested and reframed, their relation to external and internal compulsion re-construed.
Most notably, concerning the notion of walking on a "razor's edge"; Milton's "flexibly complex" re-inscription of the choice of Achilles; his appropriation of Homeric theodicy; and his acute awareness of the "theological significance of the temporal distinctions made possible by Homeric Greek, particularly those tenses and modes (including the imperfect, aorist, optative, future less vivid, and middle passive voice) that denote present or past conditionality--what may happen or what might have happened rather than what will happen or what has happened" (357-8).
Contributors in ancient Greek language, literature, linguistics, and philology explore areas such as Greek non-literary papyri of the Roman period, confusion of moods in Greek private letters of Roman Egypt, and subjunctive and optative in HerodotusAEs purpose clauses as relative tense markers.
Thus he has restored the final t/d at the end of optative singular verbs and a-stem ablative singular nouns.
attitudinal particles, optative mood, tense and aspect, evaluatives, participles), but authors like Thucydides are also known for their subtle manipulation of narrative perspective.
They rise to the challenge of discovering that Plato is using the aorist optative part of fepe/fero (meaning to bear), an irregular verb, in 'The Crito' that tells of the death of Socrates; or when Virgil, describing 'The Death of Dido' writes fando.
However, there is another way of making sense of this sentence: let us consider firstly that [phrase omitted] can refer to something the subject has not previously known-meaning 'to concede' (52)-and secondly that in (the rather rare) combination with an imperative, [phrase omitted] plus optative refers to an imaginary event in the future; (53) in light of these points, it is perfectly possible to understand this sentence as one which expresses that for Theagenes, it is just a vague possibility that Charicles should acknowledge Charicleia's royal ancestry: 'Give her back, unless even this man should concede that Charicleia is your daughter [scil.
puella; the indicative is usually less complex than conditional, optative and other moods (see I say vs.
11) Further, Whitman's use of the apostrophic O elevates the trope of the apostrophe beyond rhetorical and lyrical modes of expression and into a political if not religious domain of optative hopefulness for American unity, democratic fullness, and national cohesion in the ensuing threat of national fragmentation.
Isomorphic with the difference Matthiessen divined between the constative and optative moods of thought in postwar America's ancestor renaissance, The American Renaissance, (11) postwar identity does not--cannot--differentiate the labor of description and the affects of sociological expectation.
The most salient distinctions by which to establish such a baseline between oh and O is the latter's function in apostrophes (oaths such as "O Heavens" and simple addresses such as "O Titus") and optative constructions ("O that this too too solid flesh would melt").