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

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

There’s something both lazy and productive about the endeavor. Jim Shahin, charlotteobserver, "Go for grateness: 6 simple rules for grilling productively," 12 June 2018 Ionis and the Carlsbad office of life science giant Thermo Fisher Scientific helped make Carlsbad the most productive patent producer per capita in the county. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Ionis tops San Diego County corporate science research," 8 June 2018 The Giants center fielder is attempting to prove that a career backup outfielder can suddenly become a productive everyday player in the major leagues. Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Giants’ Hernandez turning AT&T into Gorkys’ park," 7 June 2018 The team also will have to offset the the departure defensive back Darious Williams and linebacker Tevin Crews, two productive players. Iliana Limón Romero,, "Revitalized UAB is No. 53 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 5 July 2018 Remember Alaska’s Pebble Mine, the massive, open-pit abomination proposed for the headwaters of two of the major rivers that feed Bristol Bay, one of the most productive salmon fisheries in the world? Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "Op-Ed: Alaska’s Pebble Mine Somehow Just Got Worse," 11 June 2018 The two had a productive talk before the game about varying speeds with his fastball. Paul Johnson, Elgin Courier-News, "20-something: Hard-throwing Cougars pitcher Jhoan Duran living up to his potential," 10 June 2018 Wilshere will become the fourth West Ham signing of what has been a very productive summer so far., "Jack Wilshere Undergoes Medical at West Ham & Set to Complete Deal Following Arsenal Release," 6 July 2018 America’s current and future economic vitality depends on productive talks with China and a successful modernization of NAFTA. Ana Swanson And Jim Tankersley,, "Trump signals he wants separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico," 6 June 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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Statistics for productive

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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

: 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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