additive

adjective
ad·​di·​tive | \ ˈa-də-tiv How to pronounce additive (audio) \

Definition of additive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by addition an additive process
2 : produced by addition
3 : characterized by, being, or producing effects (such as drug responses or gene products) that when the causative factors act together are the sum of their individual effects

additive

noun

Definition of additive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance added to another in relatively small amounts to effect a desired change in properties food additives

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Other Words from additive

Adjective

additively adverb
additivity \ ˌa-​də-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce additivity (audio) \ noun

Examples of additive in a Sentence

Adjective

certain drugs have additive effects when taken in conjunction with each other that one doesn't see when any one is used alone

Noun

a gasoline additive to reduce pollution

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Perhaps the bass guitar throbs from your right side, the synth from the left, and the kick drum is an additive force on both sides. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Razer HyperSense's vision for haptic-filled PC gaming shakes up the future of peripherals," 10 Jan. 2019 Some of these offices are additive in existing locations. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple will spend $1 billion and hire up to 15,000 people for new Austin office," 13 Dec. 2018 As for consumers who still subscribe to traditional cable and for whom these streaming services are just additive, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it: the monthly fees are mounting. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "HBO, CNN, DC Comics, and more could join a streaming video service under AT&T," 10 Oct. 2018 For two reasons: first, many companies are slow to adopt additive due to resistance from veteran engineers and designers who don’t want to learn a new manufacturing approach all over again. Pam Baker, Ars Technica, "Artificial Intelligence and the coming of the self-designing machine," 6 Dec. 2018 The excitement of the Menil has always been the contrast between its contemplative interiors and its additive plan. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "A museum grows in Houston," 1 Nov. 2018 The rest is an additive effect provided by the expansion of happy little plants. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Carpeting Sahara with wind and solar farms could make it rain," 8 Sep. 2018 But each one is still additive to the overall picture. Nicholas Thompson, WIRED, "How Facebook Wants to Improve the Quality of Your News Feed," 23 May 2018 Ketamine augments the brain's ability to change, which could explain why talk therapy might be additive. Moises Velasquez-manoff, WIRED, "Ketamine Stirs Up Hope—and Controversy—as a Depression Drug," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For the sensitive, some additives—like sulfites—can trigger attacks. Brad Rickman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Traveling With Asthma," 17 Apr. 2018 More recently, 52 people were sickened when around 7 tons of the common chemical additive C9 leaked while workers were loading barrels onto a ship in Fujian province on Nov. 4. Christopher Bodeen, The Seattle Times, "22 dead in blast outside northern China chemical plant," 28 Nov. 2018 It is registered in Hong Kong and also produces food additives. NBC News, "U.S. puts sanctions on Chinese man accused of trafficking in fentanyl," 27 Apr. 2018 Investigators later determined that Department of Environmental Quality officials misread federal guidelines and did not require use of corrosion-control additives. John Flesher, The Seattle Times, "Michigan governor revamps environmental agency after Flint," 4 Feb. 2019 Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid commonly used as an additive to heroin, and has been blamed for a spike in drug overdose deaths around the country. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Officials investigating possibility fentanyl caused workers to fall ill at D.C. jail," 15 Mar. 2018 Denmark did it 15 years ago, and since then the United States and more than 40 other higher-income countries have been working on getting the additives out of their food supplies. Washington Post, "UN health agency aims to wipe out trans fats worldwide," 14 May 2018 Research scientists at Rise developed a composite wood without additives like paint or dye, which gives its bright white color. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Sleek new speaker features recyclable wood cabinet," 27 Dec. 2018 Making deli meat without additives such as nitrites was particularly hard. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Anyone for Diglycerides? Anyone? Food Scientists Are Getting Fed Up With Picky Eaters," 12 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'additive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of additive

Adjective

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1901, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for additive

Adjective

borrowed from Late Latin additīvus, from Latin additus (past participle of addere "to add") + -īvus -ive

Noun

derivative of additive entry 1

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Statistics for additive

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Time Traveler for additive

The first known use of additive was in 1648

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More Definitions for additive

additive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of additive

: something (such as a chemical) that is added in small amounts to a substance to improve it in some way

additive

noun
ad·​di·​tive | \ ˈa-də-tiv How to pronounce additive (audio) \

Kids Definition of additive

: a substance added to another in small amounts The gasoline additive improves engine performance.

additive

adjective
ad·​di·​tive | \ ˈad-ət-iv How to pronounce additive (audio) \

Medical Definition of additive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having or relating to a value or effect that is the sum of individual values or effects: as
a : relating to the sum of the pharmacological responses produced by the concurrent administration of two or more drugs capable of producing the same kind of effect
b : having a genetic effect that is the sum of the individual effects

Other Words from additive

additively adverb
additivity \ ˌad-​ə-​ˈtiv-​ət-​ē How to pronounce additivity (audio) \ noun, plural additivities

additive

noun

Medical Definition of additive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance added to another in relatively small amounts to effect a desired change in properties especially : an agent added to a foodstuff to improve color, flavor, texture, or keeping qualities

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More from Merriam-Webster on additive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for additive

Spanish Central: Translation of additive

Nglish: Translation of additive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of additive for Arabic Speakers

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