pro·​duc·​tive | \ prə-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce productive (audio) , 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



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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 Plus size for the position, good length, good mobility, good athleticism, but Frank has yet to be productive. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "No DeAndre Williams, so what are Kentucky basketball's options now in the frontcourt?," 15 May 2020 Teddi René, career coach and mom in Maryland, feels the need to constantly be productive. Alisha Tillery, Essence, "Are We Being Crushed by Productivity Culture?," 28 Apr. 2020 Kevin Smith is being productive while quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. Rosy Cordero,, "Kevin Smith finished writing sequel to Mallrats during quarantine," 26 Apr. 2020 Fellowes, who can undoubtedly teach us all a few things about being productive, also just premiered The English Game on Netflix. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "How to Watch Belgravia, Julian Fellowes's New Period Drama," 13 Apr. 2020 But being productive was a means to an end, a way to frolic in the hinterlands of wuliao for as long as possible. Connie Wang & Lily Fulop, Refinery29, "Forget Productivity: Let ‘Wuliao’ Be Your Quarantine Philosophy," 7 Apr. 2020 Unlike me many of us, the actor is using his newfound free time to be productive. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Law & Order: SVU' Star Christopher Meloni Posted a Shirtless Selfie and We're Sweating," 28 Mar. 2020 Then, if the conversation isn't productive at that level, take it to HR. Kristine Gill, Fortune, "It’s awkward to talk salary at work—but here’s how to start," 28 Feb. 2020 In my experience, most folks understand that caging people and then stripping them of basic civil and human rights upon their release isn’t productive. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "Ten Years After “The New Jim Crow”," 17 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for productive

Time Traveler

The first known use of productive was in 1612

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Statistics for productive

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Productive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for productive


How to pronounce productive (audio)

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
formal : causing or resulting in something


pro·​duc·​tive | \ prə-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce productive (audio) \

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- How to pronounce productive (audio) \

Medical Definition of productive

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

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