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

But the risk is that this combination of exacting precision and stark moralism can be subtractive rather than additive. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign and policy positions, explained," 26 June 2019 Still, Comley believes that capturing performances for later viewing is additive to the business and will become standard procedure in the marketing toolkit for a show, just like the audio cast recording of a musical. Edward Baig, USA TODAY, "Can't make it to the theater? BroadwayHD.com lets you stream Broadway instead," 6 June 2019 To be a group, those additive relationships have to satisfy certain axioms. Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine, "New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes," 2 Mar. 2017 One involves the use of 3D printing—an additive process involving plastic threads. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "3D-printed (and CNC-milled) guns: Nine questions you were too afraid to ask," 5 Aug. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And besides, though a small percent of people may be sensitive to the additive, its unhealthy reputation is largely unwarranted. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, "Two formerly fringe ingredients go mainstream: Nutritional yeast and coconut aminos," 16 July 2019 Another possibility is that additives, such as 4-methylimidazole, which is found in drinks that contain caramel coloring, could play a role in cancer formation. Nina Avramova, CNN, "A small glass of juice or soda a day is linked to increased risk of cancer, study finds," 10 July 2019 They are classified as supplements, additives, or whatever. Sara Talpos, Quartz, "The dangers of energy drinks can be fatal—especially for teens," 10 July 2019 The closed-loop systems, some holding 2 million gallons of water, also use no antibiotics, additives or pesticides, removing big negatives from fish that are farmed in crowded ocean net pens. Anchorage Daily News, "Local fishery taxes will continue to be split 50-50 between towns and state for now," 9 July 2019 The takeaway All sugar substitutes are labeled as food additives and are under the regulation of the US Food and Drug Administration. Jamie Pitlick, Quartzy, "The best and worst sugar substitutes for your health," 3 July 2019 The Agriculture Department has noted that some products being sold in Florida have been shown to contain harmful additives, and little to no hemp. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "'Fresh from Florida’ CBD hemp products on their way with new law," 26 June 2019 All foams are the result of air being beaten into a liquid formula that contains some kind of surfactant (active surface agent), usually fats or proteins in edible foams, or chemical additives in non-edible products. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Two new papers explore the complicated physics behind bubbles and foams," 19 June 2019 The Laundress, an eco-friendly line of detergent and home-cleaning products, formulates without ammonia, petroleum, phthalates, phosphates, parabens, formaldehyde, artificial dyes, and chlorine bleach, as well as any other unnecessary additives. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "How to Tell If Your Laundry Detergent Is Messing With Your Skin," 15 June 2019

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

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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