(redirected from appellatives)
Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. Of or relating to the assignment of names.
2. Grammar Of or relating to a common noun.
A name or descriptive epithet.

[Middle English, common (noun), from Old French appelatif, from Late Latin appelātīvus, from Latin appellātus, past participle of appellāre, to call upon, entreat; see appeal.]

ap·pel′la·tive·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. an identifying name or title; appellation
2. (Grammar) grammar another word for common noun
3. of or relating to a name or title
4. (Grammar) (of a proper noun) used as a common noun
apˈpellatively adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(əˈpɛl ə tɪv)

n. adj.
3. tending toward or serving for the assigning of names: the appellative function of some primitive rites.
4. of or pertaining to a common noun.
[1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin]
ap•pel′la•tive•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.appellative - identifying word or words by which someone or something is called and classified or distinguished from othersappellative - identifying word or words by which someone or something is called and classified or distinguished from others
name - a language unit by which a person or thing is known; "his name really is George Washington"; "those are two names for the same thing"
street name - an alternative name that a person chooses or is given (especially in inner city neighborhoods); "her street name is Bonbon"
byname, cognomen, moniker, nickname, sobriquet, soubriquet - a familiar name for a person (often a shortened version of a person's given name); "Joe's mother would not use his nickname and always called him Joseph"; "Henry's nickname was Slim"
form of address, title of respect, title - an identifying appellation signifying status or function: e.g. `Mr.' or `General'; "the professor didn't like his friends to use his formal title"
title - an appellation signifying nobility; "`your majesty' is the appropriate title to use in addressing a king"
Adj.1.appellative - pertaining to or dealing with or used as a common noun
2.appellative - inclined to or serving for the giving of names; "the appellative faculty of children"; "the appellative function of some primitive rites"
denotative, denotive - having the power of explicitly denoting or designating or naming
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The word or words by which one is called and identified:
Slang: handle, moniker.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Just so; and is it the custom of the Genevese to give their children English appellatives?"
But at this question, Queequeg, who had twice or thrice before taken part in similar ceremonies, looked no ways abashed; but taking the offered pen, copied upon the paper, in the proper place, an exact counterpart of a queer round figure which was tattooed upon his arm; so that through Captain Peleg's obstinate mistake touching his appellative, it stood something like this: -- Quohog his mark.
Old Marmaduke, for this formidable prenomen was a kind of appellative to the race, brought with him, to that asylum of the persecuted an abundance of the good things of this life.
Name etymologisation is usually based on the belief that all proper names originate in common names (appellatives), but some place names may have further developed from other proper names.
This study finds that the words El and Baal were initially used both as appellatives and as personal names.
Among the multitude of appellatives of the Mother of God, I will analyse: Theotokos (St.
The evidence that Al-Farabi's contribution has implemented a specific type of philosophical communication and dialogue is present in his appellatives as "the Second Teacher" or "Aristotle's commentator." Al-Farabi considers dialogue not only as the art of understanding truth, but as a method to locate it, a position very close to that of ancient Greek philosophy.
The adverbs still, else, too and appellatives (sir, boy, wench) on position 11 probably required a reduced stress.
The third category covers names with no religious meaning, such as animal names (e.g., Hgb, S'l, Klb), floral terms (e.g., Bsl, Smh), appellatives (e.g., Ytm, Gbh), or substitute names, i.e., names that designate the name-bearer as a substitute for a deceased relative (e.g., Mnhm, Tnhm).
"Perhaps nine tenths of our countrymen in the principality could be mustered under less than 100 different surnames; and while in England there is no redundancy of surnames, there is a paucity of distinct appellatives in Wales, where the frequency of such names as Jones, Williams, Davies, Evans and others almost defeats the primary object of a name, which is to distinguish an individual from the mass."
When referring to federman, it points to the "feather man" or, as it frequently appears in the novel, "homme de plume hombre della pluma." Both appellatives refer to the writer (in French and Spanish).