Something pertaining to norms — something normal or typical — can be described as normative. Temper tantrums, whining, and even hitting are all normative behaviors — if you’re three. If you’re thirty, you might have a problem.

The adjective normative can also mean prescribing rules or standards. The U.S. government’s normative rules for living in American society mean that you have freedom of speech, for example, but you don’t have the right to slander or libel someone. The words “norm” and “normal” are related to normative, which comes from the French normatif, which itself is from the Latin word norma, “a carpenter’s square.”

Definitions of normative
  1. adjective

    relating to or dealing with norms

    normative discipline”
    normative samples”

  2. adjective

    pertaining to giving directives or rules

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    describing the structure of a language

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