dative (adj., n.)

mid-15c., in grammar, the case of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives denoting an indirect object of the action of the verb, from Latin dativus "pertaining to giving," from datus "given" (from PIE root *do- "to give"); in grammatical use from Greek dotike (ptosis) "dative (case)," from dotikos "of giving nature," from dotos "given," from PIE root *do- "to give," from the same PIE root as the Latin word.

Typically the case of the indirect object, but sometimes also denoting "motion toward." In old Germanic languages, the "fourth case," catch-all for Indo-European dative, ablative, locative, and other cases. In law, "that may be disposed of at pleasure," from 1530s.

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