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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from additive

Adjective

additively adverb
additivity \ ˌa-​də-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce additive (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 Scientists at the University of Virginia conducted eight experiments in which participants could choose an additive or a subtractive strategy. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, "Business Leaders Often Overlook This Brilliant Problem-Solving Strategy When Making Career Decisions," 17 Apr. 2021 The owner of a soap maker and food additive company gave up his stake in Aston Villa. New York Times, "Inter Milan, a Storied Italian Soccer Club, Is Threatened by Shifting Prospects in China," 16 Mar. 2021 Dolphins call one another by name, while chickadees and prairie dogs form complex words using a kind of additive grammar. Lauren Markham, Harper's Magazine, "The Crow Whisperer," 16 Mar. 2021 Bove’s start-big, pile-driving, additive method is closer to someone like Mark di Suvero, who welds full-scale steel beams into abstract totems. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Carol Bove’s Light-Touch Heavy Metal Faces Down the Met," 4 Mar. 2021 The only additive is a little vegetable oil to keep the caramel from bubbling over. New York Times, "Colombians Ask: Who Would Dare Patent Panela?," 26 Jan. 2021 That's why recovery efforts should include a major push to get generative, additive industries like music fully back on their feet. Billboard, "Music's Power Can Help Lift Economy During Post-COVID Recovery (Guest Column)," 12 Feb. 2021 But the studio has argued that the effect is additive; many people would still come to theaters while a new audience would watch on streaming. Washington Post, "‘Wonder Woman 1984’ did fine in theaters, despite being available on HBO Max," 28 Dec. 2020 There have been reports that CNN is looking at creating a subscription service for superfans the way Fox News has with its Fox Nation, but those are additive plays aimed at niche audiences (see also ESPN+ or Lifetime Movie Club). Josef Adalian, Vulture, "What Will TV’s Next Four Years Look Like?," 14 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The garishly porcine displays by the party, the Kuomintang, are meant to highlight one of its pet issues, the importation of American pork containing a controversial additive. New York Times, "With Pig Parades, Once-Feared Opposition Party in Taiwan Tries a Revamp," 12 Feb. 2021 According to the company's website, the tuna salad in the chain's sandwiches is made with flaked tuna in brine, mayonnaise and a flavor-protecting additive. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Subway defends tuna salad as containing real tuna," 1 Feb. 2021 The mat is coated in an antimicrobial additive that helps prevent mould and mildew from building up. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "Best last-minute gifts 2020: Best last-minute holiday gift ideas," 16 Dec. 2020 The researchers identified a chemical called 6PPD, a common rubber additive aimed at making car tires last longer, that transforms into deadly 6PPD-quinone when unleashed in nature, reports Lynda V. Maps of the Seattle Times. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Researchers Reveal Why Seattle Salmon Bite the Dust After Rainstorms," 7 Dec. 2020 Banned in at least 160 countries around the world, according to Randox Food Diagnostics, the additive is used by U.S. pig farmers to increase the amount of lean meat on hogs. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Taiwanese lawmakers throw punches and pig intestines over pork import ban," 27 Nov. 2020 Edmondson wonders how this additive would function in the real world, where concrete must withstand vibrations, for instance, and endure exposure to contaminants. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "New Bio-Inspired Molecule Helps Concrete Resist Freeze Damage," 14 Sep. 2020 To test it, the team mixed several batches of concrete, including one control, one with air bubbles and a few with different concentrations of the PEG-PVA additive. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "New Bio-Inspired Molecule Helps Concrete Resist Freeze Damage," 14 Sep. 2020 Parts like the door seal are treated with Microban, an additive that helps prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria, so there's no need to leave the door ajar. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: GE Appliances UltraFresh Front Load Washer with OdorBlock," 1 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about additive

Time Traveler for additive

Time Traveler

The first known use of additive was in 1648

See more words from the same year

Statistics for additive

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Additive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/additive. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 additive (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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on additive

What made you want to look up additive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!