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

 

formative

 adjective
adjective
BrE BrE//ˈfɔːmətɪv//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːrmətɪv//
 
[only before noun]
 
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having an important and lasting influence on the development of something or of somebody’s character the formative years of childhood formative influences in the development of the labour movement Word Origin late 15th cent.: from Old French formatif, -ive or medieval Latin formativus, from Latin formare ‘to form’, based on Latin forma ‘a mould or form’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: formative