I'm writing a program with a numeric parser. The operations involved are multiplying, dividing, squaring, and cubing.

In order to define what kind of objects can be multiplied, divided, etc with what, I'm trying to name classes that define these relationships. Currently, I have MultiplicativeRelationship, CubicRelationship, QuadraticRelationship... and a divivitive relationship?

I can't think of a word that means 'of or relating to division'!

Divisible is the first word that comes to mind, but this can't be right because the relationship itself isn't divisible. The relationship describes other things that are divisible, making it a ________ relationship.

In short:
Multiplication is to Multiplicative as Division is to ________


  • 3
    Perhaps fractional.
    – jxh
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 18:59
  • 3
    Isn't that still called multiplicative? Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 8:20
  • 6
    Per the OED, it would be divisive. Multiplicative: "Tending to multiply or increase; having the quality or function of multiplying." Divisive: "Having the quality or function of dividing; causing or expressing division or distribution; making or perceiving distinctions, analytical."
    – 1006a
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 14:16
  • 4
    I disagree with this being off topic. The author came across an issue while programming, but the issue isn't related to programming per se.
    – jimm101
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 15:17
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it involves naming variables in computer code.
    – Xanne
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 7:10

3 Answers 3


multiplicative: tending or having the power to multiply.

additive: of, relating to, or characterized by addition.

subtractive: tending to subtract


divisitive should be tending to division. Yes, this word does not exist in any of the standard (or auxiliary) dictionaries. If you use it, there is no harm. Few authors have already used it in their respective books.

Citation 1: Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning by Douglas A. Grouws

Situations must be developed in which children systematically build their understanding of principles that underlie the invariance and the compensation for variation within additive, subtractive, multiplicative and divisitive relations and operations.

Citation 2: Handbook of Research on Software Engineering and Productivity Technologies by by Ramachandran, Muthu [Leeds Metropolitian Univeristy, UK]

  • Hello, Ubi. I'd better point out that while 'If you use it, there is no harm' is open to debate, suggesting a non-standard answer is not considered appropriate on ELU. Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 10:19

Although I'd love the answer to be 'divisive', I'm not sure there's a direct equivalent. In mathematics we speak of the 'multiplicative inverse' which is too much of a mouthful for your purposes. The term 'reciprocal' can be used to mean the same thing, but doesn't fit your pattern.

(You could try asking over at the SE Maths site.)


I would propose


because multiplicative is an adjective meaning

Tending to multiply or capable of multiplying (American Heritage)

Compare this with the definition of divisible:

Capable of being divided (American Heritage)

  • One could say "multiplication : multiplicative :: division : divisive, but this is simply a case of analogy of spelling, and doesn't take into account the differences in meaning of the words.
    – tautophile
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 15:38

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