mid-15c., optatif, "the optative mood," in grammar, a form of a verb expressing wish or desire, from Old French optatif (15c.), from Late Latin optativus, from Latin optatus "wished, desired, longed for," past participle of optare "to choose, wish, desire" (see option). Also mid-15c. as an adjective, "expressing wish or desire by a distinct grammatical form." The general adjectival sense of "expressing or expressive of desire or wish" is by 1610s.