AskDefine | Define agentive

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Indicating an agent or agency (as -er in lexicographer).


  1. A word having this construction.


Extensive Definition

An agentive ending in the English language is the use of the suffix -er, -or, -ist, or -ian at the end of a verb in order to create a noun meaning "someone or something that does the action the verb describes." Examples include provider (from provide) and builder (from build).
Examples of words with -ist and -ian endings include pianist and librarian.
See also: gerund
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