Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

ergative - definition and synonyms

Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
adjective linguistics ergative pronunciation in British English /ˈɜː(r)ɡətɪv/
  1. an ergative verb, such as 'close’, 'change’, ‘cook’, ‘worry’, and ‘calm down’, is both transitive and intransitive. When it is transitive, its object can be the same as its subject when it is intransitive. For example in the sentence ‘Jack thought the money would change his life’, the verbchange’ is transitive, and in the sentence ‘When he was eleven, his whole life changed’, the verbchange’ is intransitive and there is no mention of anything that has caused ‘his life’ to change.

derived word

ergative

 ergative pronunciation in British English noun [countable]
Word Forms
Close
singularergative
pluralergatives

unicorn

a start-up … whose value has reached more than one billion US dollars

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

crafternoon

an afternoon full of crafts

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog