Definition of proactive
- proactive inhibition of memory
A survey was given out to customers so that the company could take proactive steps to improve their service.
The city is taking a proactive approach to fighting crime by hiring more police officers.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proactive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
People who tend to react to a problem only when it's gotten serious could be called reactive people. Until recently, reactive (in this sense) didn't really have an antonym. So proactive was coined to describe the kind of person who's always looking into the future in order to be prepared for anything. A good parent attempts to be proactive on behalf of his or her children, trying to imagine the problems they might be facing in a few months or years. A company's financial officers study the patterns of the company's earnings to make sure it won't risk running short of cash at any point in the next year or two. Proactive has only been around a few decades, and it can still sometimes sound like a fashionable buzzword.
: controlling a situation by making things happen or by preparing for possible future problems
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