Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


of or expressing a principle or rule regarding conduct; didactic; mandatory; instructive: a preceptive notice
Not to be confused with:
perceptive – discerning, sensitive, keen, astute; showing insight or intuition: a perceptive analysis of the challenges
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


1. Of, relating to, or expressing a rule or principle that prescribes a particular course of action or conduct.
2. Instructive; didactic.

pre·cep′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. of, resembling, or expressing a precept or precepts
2. didactic
preˈceptively adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(prɪˈsɛp tɪv)

1. expressing a precept.
2. giving instructions; instructive.
[1425–75; < Latin]
pre•cep′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.
References in periodicals archive ?
As such, use of cuaderna via immediately signaled preceptive entertainment, spiritual instruction, typology, and allegorical interpretation.
Tierney opens his latest book with a relatively simple distinction--though one he notes has been largely lost in contemporary debates: law may be preceptive, requiring and forbidding certain acts, or it may be permissive, leaving individual persons with the choice whether to take such actions.
The data show that clinical reasoning, screening, examination, evaluation, plan of care, procedural and educational intervention, documentation and outcome assessment has no significant relationship towards preceptive, receptive, intuitive, and systematic cognitive style of physical therapists.
Unlike the didacticism occasionally exhibited by the well-intentioned, contemporary subscribers of the return to the real or the referent, Bellocchio feels no obligation to directly address, for instance, Berlusconi's misadventures; he has no interest in proposing a pedagogic or preceptive critique of the times.
(3) For a review of all Cervantes's preceptive ideas about history writing, see Alvar Ezquerra ("Cervantes y la comunicacion de la historia").
70r/ secundo (i) primo [the second kind of natural law] as that it is not Just to do that to another which we would not that another should do to me, (j) in the same Circumstance that I am not to do hurt to him that is innocent that I am to be thankfull for benefits received, and many more both in the preceptive and prohibitory instances of Moral or Natural Law's.
The explanation of these results could be based upon the general intendents' highest level of formal education in comparison to the other ranks, not only because of the university degree, which is also preceptive to access the rank of chief intendent, but also because of the specific training in management techniques received when obtaining the rank.
When he discusses the difference between (and complementarity of) natural law and natural rights, he states that the preceptive natural law gives direction to man's actions with regard to what is right and wrong, and natural rights are the subject matter about which the preceptive law is concerned.
Tandon notes its heroine's penchant for Chesterfieldian aphorisms, for instance, and then there is Horwitz's witty characterization of Lady Susan itself as an "anti-conduct book." The Machiavellian dimension proposed here extends this dangerously preceptive tendency beyond the sphere of manners to encompass the moral economy of an age in which security and contingency waged perpetual war.