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

One photograph by geologist Wout Salenbien captures a South American rainforest, but the foliage is colored different shades of pink and red to highlight the more productive trees. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "Scientific Images Make Dazzling Art In a Duke University Exhibit," 12 July 2018 Equipped with sensors, horizontal drilling runs parallel to formations containing oil and natural gas, an advancement that is often three to five times more productive than traditional vertical drilling. Rob Nikolewski,, "California's ranking as an oil-producing state is slipping," 12 July 2018 These ventures, which were often created at government insistence, were 30% more productive than otherwise similar Chinese companies. The Economist, "Donald Trump insists on trade reciprocity. But what kind?," 12 July 2018 Anderson is a clear upgrade from Stewart, and even with Christian McCaffrey hogging all the pass-catching production out of Carolina’s backfield, Anderson should be more productive in the Stewart role from a year ago. Michael Beller,, "Fantasy Football 2018: The Boring All-Star Team," 10 July 2018 Parents who receive this temporary support have less absenteeism and are more productive on the job. Susan B. Parks,, "Food stamps can make the difference for struggling O.C. families, many of them working," 5 July 2018 Supporters of the annual purge think that allowing citizens a night to let go of their anger and aggression without the fear of consequence leads to a healthier, more productive society overall., "Why People Either Really Love Or Hate The Purge Movies," 3 July 2018 Duddy's been writing more new music, too, and acknowledges that being on her own has allowed her to be even more productive than before. Gary Graff, Billboard, "XYLØ Premieres 'Don't Panic,' Talks Moving on As a Solo Act," 29 June 2018 The Orioles had won four of six games behind a more productive offense before returning to their losing ways with four straight defeats. Josh Land,, "Orioles on deck: What to watch Thursday vs. Mariners, plus lineups, broadcast info and more," 28 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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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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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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