AskDefine | Define nominative

Dictionary Definition

nominative adj
1 serving as or indicating the subject of a verb and words identified with the subject of a copular verb; "nominative noun endings"; "predicate nominative"
2 named; bearing the name of a specific person; "nominative shares of stock" [syn: nominal]
3 appointed by nomination [syn: nominated] n : the category of nouns serving as the grammatical subject of a verb [syn: nominative case, subject case] [ant: oblique]

User Contributed Dictionary



nominativus, pertaining to naming, nominative.


  1. Giving a name; naming; designating; — said of that case or form of a noun which stands as the subject of a finite verb.


giving a name, naming; designating


  1. The nominative case.


the nominative case



  1. Feminine plural form of nominativo.





nominative n p
  1. Plural of nominativ

Extensive Definition

The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun, which generally marks the subject of a verb, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments. (Basically, it is a noun that is doing something, usually joined (such as in Latin) with the accusative case.)


The nominative case is the usual, natural form (more technically, the least marked) of certain parts of speech, such as nouns, adjectives, pronouns and less frequently numerals and participles, and sometimes does not indicate any special relationship with other parts of speech. Therefore, in some languages the nominative case is unmarked, that is, the form or stem, with no inflection; alternatively, it may said to be marked by a zero morpheme. Moreover, in most languages with a nominative case, the nominative form is the lemma; that is, it is the one used to cite a word, to list it as a dictionary entry, etc.
Nominative cases are found in German, Latin, Icelandic, Old English, Polish, and Russian, among other languages. English still retains some nominative pronouns, as opposed to the accusative case or oblique case: I (accusative, me), we (accusative, us), he (accusative, him), she (accusative, her) and they (accusative, them). An archaic usage is the singular second-person pronoun thou (accusative thee). A special case is the word you: Originally ye was its nominative form and you the accusative, but over time you has come to be used for the nominative as well.
The term "nominative case" is most properly used in the discussion of nominative-accusative languages, such as Latin, Greek, and most modern Western European languages.
In active-stative languages there is a case sometimes called nominative which is the most marked case, and is used for the subject of a transitive verb or a voluntary subject of an intransitive verb, but not for an involuntary subject of an intransitive verb; since such languages are a relatively new field of study, there is no standard name for this case.

Subjective Case

Some writers of English employ the term subjective case instead of nominative, in order to draw attention to the differences between the "standard" generic nominative and the way it is used in English.
Generally, when the term subjective case is used, the accusative and dative are collectively labelled as the objective case. This is possible in English because the two have merged; there are no surviving examples where the accusative and the dative are distinct in form, though their functions are still distinct. The genitive case is then usually called the possessive form and often is not considered as a noun case per se; English is then said to have two cases, the subjective and the objective. This view is an oversimplification, but it is didactically useful.
nominative in Afrikaans: Nominatief
nominative in Old English (ca. 450-1100): Nemniendlic cāsus
nominative in Bosnian: Nominativ
nominative in Bulgarian: Именителен падеж
nominative in Catalan: Cas nominatiu
nominative in Czech: Nominativ
nominative in Danish: Nominativ
nominative in German: Nominativ
nominative in Modern Greek (1453-): Ονομαστική
nominative in Spanish: Caso nominativo
nominative in Esperanto: Nominativo
nominative in French: Nominatif
nominative in Galician: Nominativo
nominative in Classical Chinese: 主格
nominative in Croatian: Nominativ
nominative in Icelandic: Nefnifall
nominative in Italian: Nominativo
nominative in Latin: Nominativus
nominative in Hungarian: Alanyeset
nominative in Dutch: Nominatief
nominative in Japanese: 主格
nominative in Chechen: ЦIерниг дожар
nominative in Norwegian: Nominativ
nominative in Norwegian Nynorsk: Nominativ
nominative in Polish: Mianownik (przypadek)
nominative in Portuguese: Caso nominativo
nominative in Romanian: Cazul nominativ
nominative in Russian: Именительный падеж
nominative in Slovak: Nominatív
nominative in Serbian: Номинатив
nominative in Serbo-Croatian: Nominativ
nominative in Finnish: Nominatiivi
nominative in Swedish: Nominativ
nominative in Ukrainian: Називний відмінок
nominative in Venetian: Nominativo
nominative in Yiddish: נאמינאטיוו
nominative in Chinese: 主格

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abessive, ablative, accusative, adessive, allative, appellative, approximative, byname, case, cognominal, common case, dative, delative, denominative, diminutive, elative, epithetic, eponymic, eponymous, essive, formal, genitive, honorific, hypocoristic, illative, in name only, inessive, instrumental, lative, local case, locative, nominal, objective case, oblique case, perlative, possessive case, prepositional, quasi, self-called, self-christened, self-styled, so-called, soi-disant, subject case, sublative, superessive, terminative, titular, translative, vocative, would-be
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