associative

adjective

as·​so·​cia·​tive ə-ˈsō-shē-ˌā-tiv How to pronounce associative (audio)
-sē-,
-shə-tiv How to pronounce associative (audio)
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)
associatively adverb
associativity noun

Examples of associative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Berg and Verhoeven were associative producers on the doc, which was produced by MRC Non-Fiction. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Nov. 2023 Adapting an iconic property is always a challenge given the sheer weight of fond, associative memories that the audience has. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 28 Sep. 2023 Memory is private and allows for associative leaps and psychological annotations. Willing Davidson, The New Yorker, 7 Aug. 2023 However, their conclusion that associative memories can’t survive may not be hold true for all species. Yasemin Saplakoglu, Quanta Magazine, 26 July 2023 There were a couple of papers that hinted some cnidarians could form stable associative memories, there hadn't really been a rigorous look at the question, and nobody had followed up on the initial work. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 22 Mar. 2023 Been There, Done That Huber has been investigating semantic satiation, or what is now known more generally in academic circles as associative satiation, for a few years now. Conor Feehly, Discover Magazine, 6 Oct. 2021 In Omen, as in Zombies, Baloji’s associative transitions reward close attention. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 May 2023 Bessemer suggested going even more associative or even onamonapeatic, like oozy or cushy. Maggie Lange, Washington Post, 9 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'associative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of associative was in 1801

Dictionary Entries Near associative

Cite this Entry

“Associative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/associative. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

associative

adjective
as·​so·​cia·​tive ə-ˈsō-shē-ˌāt-iv How to pronounce associative (audio) -sē- How to pronounce associative (audio)
-shət-iv
1
: of or relating to association
2
: of, having, or being the property of producing the same mathematical value no matter how an expression's elements are grouped so long as the order of those elements is the same
addition is associative since (a + b) + c = a + (b + c)
associatively adverb
associativity
ə-ˌsō-shē-ə-ˈtiv-ət-ē How to pronounce associative (audio)
-ˌsō-sē-
-ˌsō-shə-ˈtiv-
noun

Medical Definition

associative

adjective
as·​so·​cia·​tive ə-ˈsō-s(h)ē-ˌāt-iv How to pronounce associative (audio) -shət-iv How to pronounce associative (audio)
1
: of or relating to association especially of ideas or images
an associative symbol
2
a
: dependent on or characterized by association
an associative reaction
b
: acquired by a process of learning
an associative reflex
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