associative

adjective
as·so·cia·tive | \ ə-ˈsō-shē-ˌā-tiv , -sē- , -shə-tiv \

Definition of associative 

1 : of or relating to association especially of ideas or images

2 : dependent on or acquired by association or learning

3 : of, having, or being the property of combining to the same mathematical result regardless of the grouping of an expression's elements given that the order of those elements is preserved addition is associative since (a + b) + c = a + (b + c)

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Other words from associative

associatively adverb
associativity \-ˌsō-shē-ə-ˈti-və-tē, -sē-, -shə-ˈti- \ noun

Examples of associative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Trying to absorb Martin’s long, free-associative list of her beliefs while also looking at her paintings would surely defeat the mental clarity that Martin sought to achieve in making her art. Edith Newhall, Philly.com, "In Philly galleries now: Bergstrom bags, a subtle modern master, Fleisher/Ollman's 'Party'," 12 July 2018 The nonlinear, associative libretto by Yona Kim — who also directed the gripping staging, set in what seems to be a decaying 19th-century salon — swerves from Berlin to Moscow and from Paris to Riga. New York Times, "Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin Don’t Talk. They Sing.," 24 June 2018 And the plot, with its elaborate weave of suspicion and misdirection, has been distilled into a series of associative montages. Justin Chang, chicagotribune.com, "'The Green Fog' review: A scrambled history of San Francisco and an homage to 'Vertigo'," 26 Apr. 2018 This effect worked even after the shocks were stopped, indicating that Aplysia formed an associative memory. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers claim to have transferred a memory between two sea slugs," 16 May 2018 And the plot, with its elaborate weave of suspicion and misdirection, has been distilled into a series of associative montages. Justin Chang, chicagotribune.com, "'The Green Fog' review: A scrambled history of San Francisco and an homage to 'Vertigo'," 26 Apr. 2018 Refrain, rhyme and associative imagery produce several moving intensities. Patricia Smith, New York Times, "Poem: And He Stays Dead," 26 Jan. 2018 And the plot, with its elaborate weave of suspicion and misdirection, has been distilled into a series of associative montages. Justin Chang, chicagotribune.com, "'The Green Fog' review: A scrambled history of San Francisco and an homage to 'Vertigo'," 26 Apr. 2018 This is a gorgeous, free-associative (or seemingly so) book, moving in ways both elusive and clear. Bruce Handy, New York Times, "If Graphic Novels Are Hip for Adults, Why Not Picture Books?," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'associative.' 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 associative

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of associative was in 1801

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More Definitions for associative

associative

adjective
as·so·cia·tive | \ ə-ˈsō-shē-ˌā-tiv , -shə-tiv \

Kids Definition of associative

: relating to or being a property of a mathematical operation (as addition or multiplication) in which the result does not depend on how the elements are grouped The associative property of addition states that (2 + 3) + 1 and 2 + (3 + 1) will both have a sum of 6.

associative

adjective
as·so·cia·tive | \ ə-ˈsō-s(h)ē-ˌāt-iv , -shət-iv \

Medical Definition of associative 

1 : of or relating to association especially of ideas or images an associative symbol

2a : dependent on or characterized by association an associative reaction

b : acquired by a process of learning an associative reflex

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