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Definition of "inchoative" [in•cho•a•tive]

  • Beginning; initial. (adjective)
  • Grammar Of or being a verb or verbal form that designates the beginning of an action, state, or event, such as the Latin verb tumēscēre, "to begin to swell.” (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "inchoative" in a sentence
  • "Our train on that first official journey to Washington proved to be a kind of inchoative "Congressional Limited.""
  • ""inchoative" nature.a. Inchoative verbs from the roots of "intransitive verbs" indicate the "beginning" or "coming into existence" of the act or condition expressed in the root: sidigxi, to become sitting, to sit down, to take a seat. starigxi, to become standing, to stand up."
  • "Also, forms like *wóidh₂e 'I know' which never ever show reduplication in the later perfect hint at their original meaning and usage: 'I know' (stative) → 'I have come to know' (inchoative) → 'I have known/seen' (perfective past)."