Definition of descriptive adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    descriptive

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//dɪˈskrɪptɪv//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈskrɪptɪv//
     
     
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  1. 1saying what somebody/something is like; describing something the descriptive passages in the novel The term I used was meant to be purely descriptive (= not judging).
  2. 2 (linguistics) saying how language is actually used, without giving rules for how it should be used opposite prescriptive
  3. Word Origin mid 18th cent.: from late Latin descriptivus, from descript- ‘written down’, from the verb describere ‘write down’ from de- ‘down’ + scribere ‘write’.Extra examples The terms are descriptive of strong emotion. a highly descriptive account of her journey through Africa She read out some of the descriptive passages in the novel. The term I used was meant to be purely descriptive.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: descriptive