| Definition - The case that indicates that the marked referent is the verb's indirect object.
1. English shows this by using prepositions and word order. Highly inflected languages, such as Latin, show this by modifying word endings.
Etymology - The word ultimately derives from the Latin datus, given (from dare, to give).
Note: According to the Online Etymology Dictionary: "The Roman convention of closing every article of correspondence by writing given and the day and month — meaning 'given to messenger' — led to date becoming a term for 'the time (and place) stated.'"
Oxford English Dictionary - Its first citation in this sense is from circa 1440:
"The thrid Falle is datif case, for there are some that are prowde for they mow gyve."
(Gesta Rom. xci. 416 (Add. MS.))