collective

1 of 2

adjective

col·​lec·​tive kə-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce collective (audio)
1
: denoting a number of persons or things considered as one group or whole
flock is a collective word
2
a
: formed by collecting : aggregated
b
of a fruit : multiple
3
a
: of, relating to, or being a group of individuals
b
: involving all members of a group as distinct from its individuals
a collective action
4
: marked by similarity among or with the members of a group
the collective interests of the town
5
: collectivized or characterized by collectivism
collective farming
collective communities
6
: shared or assumed by all members of the group
collective responsibility
the collective opinion of the staff
collective guilt
collectively adverb

collective

2 of 2

noun

1
: a collective body : group
a social collective
2
: a cooperative unit or organization
specifically : collective farm
3
: a helicopter control system governing lift

Examples of collective in a Sentence

Adjective We made a collective decision to go on strike. The incident became part of our collective memory. the collective wisdom of generations
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Rebuilding the damage caused by the fire will require a collective effort from the Native community, Stewart said. Christina Avery, The Arizona Republic, 13 July 2024 From highlighting the historical context of voting rights to advocating for community engagement and transparency, the panel at ESSENCE Festival 2024 underscored the power of collective action and the critical importance of voting in shaping the future. Mizani Ball, Essence, 12 July 2024
Noun
The red front door also felt like a sign: Red doors were a symbol for the Bloomsbury Group—a collective of artists and writers cofounded by Virginia Woolf—a subject over which Kate and Leslie first bonded. Rory Evans, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 July 2024 Music fans will recall that the Cash Money Millionaires was a collective of rappers — including Birdman, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, B.G. and Fresh — who were signed to the label in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for collective 

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English collectif, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin collēctīvus, going back to Late Latin, "comprehensive, (in logic and grammar) inferential," going back to Latin, "preceding by inference, deductive," from collēctus, past participle of colligere "to gather together, assemble, accumulate, deduce, infer" + -īvus -ive — more at collect entry 2

Noun

derivative of collective entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of collective was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near collective

Cite this Entry

“Collective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/collective. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

collective

1 of 2 adjective
col·​lec·​tive kə-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce collective (audio)
1
: having to do with a number of persons or things considered as one group
"flock" is a collective noun
2
: formed by collecting
3
: of, relating to, or involving all members of a group
the collective feelings of the team
collective legal action
4
: shared or done by a number of persons as a group
a collective effort
collectively adverb

collective

2 of 2 noun
1
: a collective body : group
2
: a cooperative unit or organization

Legal Definition

collective

adjective
col·​lec·​tive kə-ˈlek-tiv How to pronounce collective (audio)
: involving all members of a group as distinct from individual members
collectively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on collective

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