(redirected from performatory)


Relating to or being an utterance that performs an act or creates a state of affairs by the fact of its being uttered under appropriate or conventional circumstances, as a justice of the peace uttering I now pronounce you husband and wife at a wedding ceremony, thus creating a legal union, or as one uttering I promise, thus performing the act of promising.
A performative utterance.

per·for′ma·tiv′i·ty (-tĭv′ĭ-tē) n.
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.


(pəˈfɔːmətɪv) or


1. (Linguistics)
a. denoting an utterance that constitutes some act, esp the act described by the verb. For example, I confess that I was there is itself a confession, and so is performative in the narrower sense, while I'd like you to meet … (effecting an introduction) is performative only in the looser sense. See also locutionary act, illocution, perlocution
b. (as noun): that sentence is a performative.
2. (Linguistics)
a. denoting a verb that may be used as the main verb in such an utterance
b. (as noun): "promise" is a performative.
perˈformatively adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(pərˈfɔr mə tɪv)

1. (of an expression or statement) performing an act by the very fact of being uttered, as “I promise,” which performs the act of promising.
2. a performative utterance.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


[pəˈfɔːmətɪv] N performative (verb)(verbo m ) performativo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nperformativer Ausdruck
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
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References in periodicals archive ?
The language rationalized by the elites or founding fathers at 'critical junctures' of European integration have special meaning attached to it.31 It is not only the words of speech but 'performatory acts' done by the elites in order to speak for or against the Union as per the requirement of their own national interests.
To truly make a legacy, the CJP should look into true ground reform, and steer away from performatory and often sensationalist political statements.
"[t]he inconsistency (absurdity) of an existentially inconsistent statement can in a sense be said to be of performatory (performative) character.
Its portrayal of local practices in a performatory manner somewhat disrupts and distracts the eye from the larger agenda set forth here.
The early evolution in all terrestrial animals of sense organs clustered around the head aided in the separation of exploratory from performatory activity, a separation that humans, with their large brains and excellent eyesight, exploited to the full for knowledge-seeking purposes (Gibson, Reed).
(6) Dunbars choice of the letter as a model for these poems highlights a tension between a traditional dialect poetry that is performatory and an emerging dialect poetry of silent literacy.
Sacks believes that "to be ourselves we must have ourselves - possess, if need be repossess, our life stories"; he tells these stories "magnificently," says Brook, "and in the manner that every dramatist, from the Greeks to the playwrights of the present day, has attempted - penetrating hidden areas of human beings." Even so, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat served as Brook's initial impetus only; the director and cast conducted their own ethnography of patients in mental hospitals, honing their performatory research over several years.
Sadoff suggests, the strategies of "close reading," "the brilliant lecture," "small group workshops," "in-class writing," and "performatory student activities" are all still typically practiced and still quite familiar to any experienced teacher of imaginative literature enamored of "theory" (16-17).
They are involved in a performatory or self-referential inconsistency rather than a strictly logical one.
The ostentatious displays of fashion and the self-conscious performatory style of the day were nothing more than ubiquitous symptoms of shallow profligacy.
Such statements as the ones just quoted reveal the intensely political and performatory dimension to travel in the nineteenth century.