"grammatical case denoting removal or separation," late 14c. as an adjective; mid-15c. as a noun (short for ablative case, originally in reference to 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 "to carry off or away, withdraw, remove," 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.
updated on September 11, 2022