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formative (adj.)

late 15c., from Middle French formatif, from Latin format-, past participle stem of formare "to form," from forma "form, shape" (see form (n.)). As a noun, in grammar, from 1816.

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Definitions of formative from WordNet
1
formative (adj.)
capable of forming new cells and tissues;
a formative zone in developing bone
formative (adj.)
forming or capable of forming or molding or fashioning;
a formative influence
a formative experience
Synonyms: shaping / plastic
2
formative (n.)
minimal language unit that has a syntactic (or morphological) function;
From wordnet.princeton.edu