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Meaning of performative

per•for•ma•tive

Pronunciation: (pur-fôr'mu-tiv), [key]
— adj. Philos., Ling.
  1. (of an expression or statement) performing an act by the very fact of being uttered, as with the expression “I promise,” that performs the act of promising.
—n.
  1. a performative utterance. Cf.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.