Meaning of demonstrative in English:


Pronunciation /dɪˈmɒnstrətɪv/

See synonyms for demonstrative

Translate demonstrative into Spanish


  • 1(of a person) unrestrained in showing feelings, especially those of affection.

    ‘we were a very physically demonstrative family’
    • ‘I'm not a very demonstrative person, having always been taught that emotion leads to weakness, so I was more than a little embarrassed.’
    • ‘This wasn't a family that showed what it felt, or courted demonstrative friends.’
    • ‘With his loud voice and demonstrative personality, Weis usually sets the tone on the practice field.’
    • ‘Someone with a more demonstrative personality might have done a better job.’
    • ‘He might seem to be a demonstrative person to you, but he's not!’
    • ‘Willis is a demonstrative player who wears his emotions on his sleeve.’
    • ‘Or it may be their personality, just the way they are, and I don't mean to be critical of that, since I don't think I'm very demonstrative during a session, either.’
    • ‘Dan confessed that his father was so demonstrative he'd grab his grown son's hand and walk with him down the street, hand in hand.’
    • ‘He's very demonstrative and very in charge but he's very bossy, too.’
    • ‘It has been obvious in the last couple of training sessions we've had that he's more demonstrative and that can only be good news.’
    • ‘My mom and dad were not very demonstrative parents and seldom if ever did they tell me these kind of things.’
    • ‘He has a lovely sense of humour, but he's not a demonstrative man.’
    • ‘Her royal husband, who was not a demonstrative man, went away to a room by himself and gave orders that he was to be left alone.’
    • ‘Generous and warm-hearted you like to shower your loved one with affection and are very demonstrative and affectionate.’
    • ‘My outrageous and pathetically demonstrative response arose in its entirety out of my sad and deeply personal unresolved childhood hurts.’
    • ‘You have a keen sense of humour, are winsome and vivacious, loving and demonstrative in your family.’
    • ‘In rehearsals, somehow, he digs deep and mines the heart of each scene, but not for a display of demonstrative emotion.’
    • ‘They tend to be emotionally demonstrative and seductive, and use their appearance to attract the attention of others.’
    • ‘Elinor, whose self-control is in strong contrast to Marianne's demonstrative emotions, silently conceals her distress.’
    • ‘British people, as a rule, still disapprove of loud or demonstrative behaviour, except in very informal situations.’
    expressive, open, forthcoming, emotional, communicative, responsive, unreserved, unrestrained, effusive, expansive, gushing, affectionate, cuddly, loving, warm, friendly, approachable
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  • 2Serving as conclusive evidence of something.

    ‘demonstrative evidence’
    • ‘The course's contents included the direct and cross examination of lay and expert witnesses, introduction of evidence and demonstrative exhibits, the making of closing arguments and the opening statement.’
    • ‘He is very experienced in collating documents, summarizing evidence, arranging diagrammatic and demonstrative evidence and assisting with the general preparation for trial.’
    • ‘In my view, when the admissibility of demonstrative evidence is in issue, in many cases, a traditional analysis of probative value really misses the point.’
    • ‘In addition, it describes the historical origins of demonstrative evidence and incorporates recent social science research on visual processing into its analysis.’
    • ‘‘Subject’ here means the subject of the conclusion of the demonstrative syllogism.’
    • ‘It is no obstacle to theology that it cannot aim at conclusive demonstrative proof of the reality of God - there are many other worthwhile intellectual goals.’
    • ‘The data are illustrative rather than demonstrative.’
    • ‘He ventures upon two examples only of this demonstrative morality; and neither of them is more than verbal or gives any information about good or evil.’
    • ‘Counsel for the plaintiff argues that all of these illustrations are demonstrative aids which would be used during the trial to inform and assist the jury in understanding their responsibilities.’
    • ‘A bio-monitoring programme is also in place which reveals that the emissions do not have a demonstrative effect on the quality of the agricultural products which they have studied.’
    indicative, indicatory, suggestive, illustrative, evincive, expository
    convincing, definite, positive, telling, conclusive, certain, decisive, material, airtight, watertight
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    1. 2.1Involving demonstration, especially by scientific means.
      ‘the possibility of a demonstrative science of ethics’
      • ‘Knowledge is composed of demonstrations, even if it may also include definitions; the method of science is demonstrative, even if it may also include the process of defining.’
      • ‘Aquinas's philosophical theology is an elaborately developed, sophisticated system of knowledge modeled more or less closely on Aristotelian demonstrative science.’
      • ‘It is cruel, inhuman and plainly wrong to keep fit parents from their precious children without a compelling, demonstrative reason.’
      • ‘Grosseteste applies the theory in the Posterior Analytics to itself, presenting it as a demonstrative science of demonstration.’
      • ‘For Plato, the proper method for seeking knowledge is not observation but demonstrative proof, or perhaps some other form of a priori reasoning.’
      • ‘Firstly, anthropologists, unlike classicists, have the societies they study before their very eyes and can hardly ignore the patently magical aspects of demonstrative public ritual.’
      • ‘If imitation is a general category of artistic activity, repetition is an insistently demonstrative species of imitation.’
      • ‘The poet uses the infinitive ‘to frame’ in the previous line in connection with the knight's blameless life, indicating his development of this character as a demonstrative or pictorial representative of virtue.’
      • ‘Rosenthal's account closed with details of Perez's demonstrative response to the lie-detector results.’
      • ‘Apparently to this end, the local and temporal co-ordinates of the narrative are established with a demonstrative exactitude.’
      • ‘They compared the new investigative approach against the demonstrative approach to teaching Junior Certificate science.’
      • ‘I cannot examine all the variants of this argument that have been advanced, but I shall discuss three intendedly demonstrative approaches and an inductive, probabilistic, approach.’
      • ‘Figure skating is much like the performing arts because of its demonstrative nature and its ability to be a showcasing of artistic beauty and physical nature.’
      • ‘They should conduct demonstrative asylums in and out of the country and propagate the value and effectiveness of the systems among the people.’
  • 3Grammar
    (of a determiner or pronoun) indicating the person or thing referred to (e.g. this, that, those).

    ‘The best examples are the demonstrative pronouns this and that, for the reason that they are guaranteed a reference every time they are used.’
    • ‘These are thoughts or judgements whose canonical expression is in terms of a demonstrative pronoun, ‘this’ or ‘that’, used to refer to some object in the perceived environment.’
    • ‘Maybe I have a propensity for those sort of muddles, but maybe I'd rather have a propensity for that sort of a muddle, for my demonstrative pronouns are very dear to me.’
    • ‘A number of words were tagged in the texts to separate homographs, so that will is separated into verb and noun forms, that into conjunctive, relative and demonstrative ones, and so on.’
    • ‘Substances are things to which we can refer by use of a demonstrative phrase of the form ‘this so-and-so’; they are things that can be picked out, identified, individuated.’


  • A demonstrative determiner or pronoun.

    ‘All the pronouns and demonstratives have different forms for each conjunctive, creating such words as walalanggalangguwuy, meaning ‘originating from them’.’
    • ‘Among the definite determiners are the demonstratives this and that, these and those.’
    • ‘Note that there is variation not only in verb agreement, but also in agreement with demonstratives - this vs. these.’
    • ‘Languages that lack definiteness markers like the Slavonic ones are expected to resort to demonstratives more freely.’
    • ‘According to this theory, logically proper names are very like the demonstratives this and that; they are empty of descriptive content, and their meanings are the particulars they denote.’
    • ‘Definiteness needs to be explicitly encoded by a demonstrative; the demonstrative, therefore, counts as an explicit grounding device.’


Late Middle English (in the senses ‘serving as conclusive evidence of’ and ‘making manifest’): from Old French demonstratif, -ive, from Latin demonstrativus, from demonstrare ‘point out’ (see demonstrate).