1. Giving form; having the power of giving form; plastic; as, the formative arts. The meanest plant can not be raised without seed, by any formative residing in the soil. (Bentley)
2. Serving to form; derivative; not radical; as, a termination merely formative.
3. (Science: biology) Capable of growth and development; germinal; as, living or formative matter.
Origin: cf. F. Formatif.