American English

Definition of prescriptive adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(formal) telling people what they should do prescriptive methods of teaching
  2. 2(linguistics) telling people how a language should be used, rather than describing how it is used a prescriptive grammar of English opposite descriptive
  3. 3(technology) (of rights and institutions) made legal or acceptable because they have existed for a long time prescriptive powers
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: prescriptive