Meaning of appellative in English:


Pronunciation /əˈpɛlətɪv/

See synonyms for appellative on


  • Relating to or denoting the giving of a name.

    ‘The poetry in this period is marked by the use of appellative and patriotic themes.’
    • ‘A word of warning, appellative names within the Society tend to be awarded by others often out of the recipient's own injudicious utterances.’
    eponymous, identifying


  • A common noun, such as ‘doctor’, ‘mother’, or ‘sir’, used as a vocative.

    ‘The number following each proper name indicates the number of appellatives assigned to that person.’
    • ‘The number of appearances of the rest of the 260 terrain-related appellatives has not been counted.’
    • ‘There are some thirteen appellatives in this section of his epistle, and all are true of every saint of God.’
    • ‘Observe how clearly the author states that all these appellatives employed as names of God came into existence after the Creation.’
    • ‘With regard to appellatives, it is only the use of capital letters that bears resemblance to German writing conventions.’
    name, title, term, designation, epithet, label, tag, style, sobriquet, nickname, byname


Late Middle English from late Latin appellativus, from appellat- ‘addressed’, from the verb appellare (see appeal).