"grammatical case denoting removal or separation," late 14c. as an adjective; mid-15c. as a noun (short for ablative case, originally of Latin), from Old French ablatif and directly from Latin (casus) ablativus "(case) of removal," expressing direction from a place or time, coined by Julius Caesar from ablatus "taken away," past participle of auferre "carrying away," from ab "off, away" (see ab-) + the irregular verb ferre (past participle latum; see oblate) "to carry, to bear" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children."). The "from" case, the Latin case of adverbial relation, typically expressing removal or separation, also "source or place of an action." Related: Ablatival.
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