Fr.: cas datif
The form of a word (in Latin and other inflected languages) indicating the noun or pronoun for which an action happens or a quality exists. In English loosely used for → indirect object (for example, him in Give him the book).
From L. casus dativus ("case for giving"), a translation of Gk. dotike ptosis ("inflection for giving"), from dativus "pertaining to giving," from datus "given" (from PIE root *do- "to give"), → datum; → case.