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From the Latin percontativus.


percontative (not comparable)

  1. (grammar, rare) That is, expressed in, or having the character of the grammatical mood (mode) of rhetorical questioning; percontatorial.
    • 1845, Edward Smedley, Hugh James Rose, and Henry John Rose [eds.], Encyclopædia Metropolitana I: “Universal Grammar and Philology”, pages 50–51
      Some [grammatical writers] call these affections of the verb moods; others call them divisions, qualities, states, species, &c.; and as to the various appellations of each mood we have the personative and impersonative, the indicative, declarative, definitive, modus finiendi, modus fatendi, the rogative, interrogative, requisitive, percontative, assertive, enunciative, vocative, precative, deprecative, responsive, concessive, permissive, promissive, adhortative, optative, dubitative, imperative, mandative, conjunctive, subjunctive, adjunctive, potential, participial, infinitive, and probably many others.
    • 1849, Herman Melville, Mardi II (1922 reprint), page 285
      ‘Perfect Dicibles are of various sorts: Interrogative; Percontative; Adjurative; Optative; Imprecative; Execrative; Substitutive; Compellative; Hypothetical; and, lastly, Dubious.’
    • 1960, Raymond Queneau [aut.] (+ unknown tr.), Zazie, page 128
      Destined for internal consumption, these three words nevertheless provoked the reply which you see here: who doesn’t? With an interrogation point, for the reply was percontative.

Related terms[edit]