pro·​duc·​tive | \prə-ˈdək-tiv, prō-\

Definition of productive 

1 : having the quality or power of producing especially in abundance productive fishing waters

2 : effective in bringing about investigating committees have been productive of much good— R. K. Carr

3a : yielding results, benefits, or profits

b : yielding or devoted to the satisfaction of wants or the creation of utilities

4 : continuing to be used in the formation of new words or constructions un- is a productive prefix

5 : raising mucus or sputum (as from the bronchi) a productive cough

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Other Words from productive

productively adverb
productiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for productive


constructive, formative


nonconstructive, nonproductive, unproductive

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Examples of productive in a Sentence

I had a very productive day. I am most productive in the morning. Some staff members are more productive than others.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The contemporary works illustrate how productive this fascinating woman—who voluntarily checked into the Seiwa Hospital for the Mentally Ill in 1977 and moves between there and her nearby studio—remains to this day. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Makes the Most of His Trip to Tokyo for Valentino Pre-Fall—And Then Some," 2 Dec. 2018 But Facebook can easily present these as productive tensions, in the service of the very public goal of fixing the company. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Mark Zuckerberg became a wartime CEO," 20 Nov. 2018 This, coupled with Kent’s famous chalky soil, has made the area, just over an hour southeast of London, particularly productive for grape varieties used in sparkling wine, like chardonnay, pinot noir, and bacchus. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "Kent Is Poised to Be the U.K.'s Napa Valley," 14 Sep. 2018 This investment in turn makes workers more productive and allows them to earn more money. James Freeman, WSJ, "The ‘Politically Obsessed’ and the Rest of Us," 29 Aug. 2018 Excessive nitrogen can cause the pepper plants to grow too fast, making them more susceptible to disease and less productive. 2. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Peppers," 19 Aug. 2018 So, instead of daydreaming about the weekend, make your distraction more productive. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 best Amazon deals right now," 5 July 2018 The camera systems have made agents more productive but also opened them up to new challenges. Todd C. Frankel,, "Riding with the repo man: as auto loan defaults rise, car repossessions skyrocket," 16 May 2018 And less stress means bigger, more productive peppers. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Peppers," 19 Aug. 2018

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

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for productive

The first known use of productive was in 1612

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More Definitions for productive



English Language Learners Definition of productive

: doing or achieving a lot : working hard and getting good results

: producing or able to produce something especially in large amounts

: causing or resulting in something


pro·​duc·​tive | \prə-ˈdək-tiv \

Kids Definition of productive

1 : having the power to yield in large amounts productive soil

2 : producing well I'm most productive in the morning.


pro·​duc·​tive | \prə-ˈdək-tiv, prō- \

Medical Definition of productive 

: raising mucus or sputum (as from the bronchi) a productive cough

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Comments on productive

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