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


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

But in the hours after the unexpected meeting, some U.S. lawmakers — including numerous 2020 Democratic presidential candidates — questioned how productive the meeting was in efforts to reach a nuclear deal. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Tucker Carlson defends Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un, says leading a country "means killing people"," 1 July 2019 About 22 percent said workers were more productive, while 19 percent said productivity decreased. Annie Sciacca, The Mercury News, "Minimum wages going up in seven Bay Area cities," 30 June 2019 No pitcher has been more productive since the start of the 2015 season; Scherzer’s 33.8 WAR is eight wins better than Justin Verlander’s total over that span. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "Here's why ex-Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer is underpaid at $42 million a year," 29 June 2019 Trolling with 2 ounces of lead and a crawler harness has been especially productive. D'arcy Egan,, "Lake Erie walleye fishing still rockin’ from Toledo to Conneaut: June 28 Fishing Report," 28 June 2019 Everyone has personal goals, whether it’s defenders having shutouts or whether it’s attackers scoring goals and getting assists, being productive. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Young Orlando City star Chris Mueller hungry to get better every day, help Lions win," 25 June 2019 Obviously, James is a returning running back and should be very productive. Ben Thomas |,, "Coaching veteran Mark Heaton hopes to provide spark to Baldwin County’s offense," 25 June 2019 The pressure to be productive on climate change is starting to get to some Republicans. David Roberts, Vox, "Frank Luntz vs. Grover Norquist: the GOP’s climate change dilemma in a nutshell," 21 June 2019 Striker Diego Rubio, earning $320,000, and midfielder Nicolas Mezquida making $353,750, are middle-income earners in MLS and would be expected to be productive for that amount of outlay. Mark Goodman, The Denver Post, "Backpass: Colorado Rapids were exposed in the US Open Cup. What can MLS teams learn from this?," 15 June 2019

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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Statistics for productive

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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
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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Comments on productive

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