initiative

adjective
ini·tia·tive | \i-ˈni-shə-tiv also -shē-ə-tiv \

Definition of initiative 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to initiation : introductory, preliminary

initiative

noun
ini·tia·tive | \i-ˈni-shə-tiv also -shē-ə-tiv \

Definition of initiative (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an introductory step took the initiative in attempting to settle the issue

2 : energy or aptitude displayed in initiation of action : enterprise showed great initiative

3a : the right to initiate legislative action

b : a procedure enabling a specified number of voters by petition to propose a law and secure its submission to the electorate or to the legislature for approval — compare referendum sense 1

on one's own initiative

: at one's own discretion : independently of outside influence or control

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Synonyms for initiative

Synonyms: Noun

action, aggressiveness, ambition, drive, enterprise, go, hustle

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Examples of initiative in a Sentence

Adjective

Luther's daring initiative thoughts did indeed come from above, but he owed them to no man or age. — Junius B. Remensnyder, What the World Owes Luther, 1917 Many writers maintain that there is a rule of International Law forbidding the commencement of war without a declaration of war. But such rule, in fact, does not exist, for a great many wars take place without an initiative declaration of war. — Lassa Oppenheim, International Law, 1906

Noun

… on the day before their Club Med flight she took the initiative of telephoning Franco from work, ostensibly to tell him that she had really admired his new place … — John Barth, Atlantic, March 1995 Following initiatives begun before the First World War, thirty-four states instituted or expanded workers' compensation laws in the 1920s. — Mary Beth Norton et al., A People and a Nation, 1988 Since the social victim has been oppressed by society, he comes to feel that his individual life will be improved more by changes in society than by his own initiative. — Shelby Steele, Harper's, June 1988 If you want to meet her, you're going to have to take the initiative and introduce yourself. The company has the opportunity to seize the initiative by getting its new products to the market before its competitors. The governor has proposed a new initiative to improve conditions in urban schools.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The girl of now initiative highlights women’s success stories in various fields. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018 The girl of now initiative highlights women’s success stories in various fields. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018 The girl of now initiative highlights women’s success stories in various fields. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018 The girl of now initiative highlights women’s success stories in various fields. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018 The girl of now initiative highlights women’s success stories in various fields. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018 The girl of now initiative highlights women’s success stories in various fields. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018 The girl of now initiative highlights women’s success stories in various fields. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018 The girl of now initiative highlights women’s success stories in various fields. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "I dream of caftans," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ads related to initiative petitions usually end with an admonition — sometimes an ominous one — to vote yes or no on the question number. Joshua Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "The question order has been set for the fall ballot," 9 July 2018 Other initiatives target young people, such as Lake Erie Ink, which teaches a variety of writing genres to children in after-school and summer programs, while TLA is aimed at giving voice to a greater diversity of aspiring writers. Christopher Johnston, The Christian Science Monitor, "Cleveland uses literature to empower youth, overcome social divides," 9 July 2018 The ballot initiative process did not exist in 1863. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "Remove three Californias plan from the ballot, opponents ask state Supreme Court," 9 July 2018 Other new initiatives include the U of L Hospital Preceptor Academy, which connects established nurses with new hires, as well as the Nursing Leadership Academy, which already has trained 34 nurses on how to provide better guidance to new staffers. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "University of Louisville Hospital says it's on mend minus KentuckyOne," 5 July 2018 The council at the time rejected the idea, prompting Grosch to lead an initiative petition drive that collected enough signatures to qualify for ballot status. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Poway mayor, councilmen, will run in November," 27 June 2018 School districts can use the money for hiring police officers or school psychologists, adding metal detectors, or paying for violence-prevention programs or other initiatives. Gillian Mcgoldrick, Philly.com, "Pa. approves $60 million for school safety," 22 June 2018 The parade features more than 75 floats, and also supports other community initiatives. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "5 things to do this weekend in Chicago," 14 June 2018 Amazon, also a contributor to the initiative campaign, did not respond to a request for comment. The Seattle Times, OregonLive.com, "Seattle's head tax repeal leaves homeless crisis unresolved," 12 June 2018

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

Adjective

1795, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for initiative

Adjective

see initiate entry 1

Noun

see initiate entry 1

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Phrases Related to initiative

the initiative

Statistics for initiative

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for initiative

The first known use of initiative was in 1793

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More Definitions for initiative

initiative

noun

English Language Learners Definition of initiative

the initiative : the power or opportunity to do something before others do

: the energy and desire that is needed to do something

: a plan or program that is intended to solve a problem

initiative

noun
ini·tia·tive | \i-ˈni-shə-tiv \

Kids Definition of initiative

1 : a first step or movement I took the initiative and called first.

2 : energy shown in getting action started He's a person of great initiative.

initiative

noun
ini·tia·tive | \i-ˈni-shə-tiv, -shē-ə-tiv \

Legal Definition of initiative 

1 : the especially introductory series of steps taken to cause a desired result the deposing party would ordinarily be required to take the initiative in arranging a depositionAndrews v. Bradshaw, 895 P.2d 973 (1995)

2a : the right to initiate legislative action

b : a procedure enabling a specified number of voters by petition to propose a law and secure its submission to the electorate or to the legislature for approval — see also referendum

on oneʼs own initiative

: at one's own discretion : independently of outside influence, suggestion, or control the court may reduce a sentence on its own initiativeGhrist v. People, 897 P.2d 809 (1995)

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