privative adjective

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privative adjective (plural privative adjectives)

  1. (grammar) An adjective indicating that a noun refers to an object that is not of the class which that noun ordinarily refers to.
    That's fake news.
    (literally, “That is not news.”)
    Isn't that a toy sword?
    (literally, “That is not a genuine sword.”)
  2. (grammar) An adjective indicating that a noun lacks some other noun, or a quality of that noun; usually formed in English by the affixation of the suffix -less or suffixoid -free to the noun that is absent.
    finger + ‎-less → ‎fingerless
    hope + ‎-less → ‎hopeless
    heart + ‎-less → ‎heartless
    sugar + ‎-free → ‎sugar-free