progressive

adjective
pro·​gres·​sive | \ prə-ˈgre-siv \

Definition of progressive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characterized by progress
b : making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities
c : of, relating to, or constituting an educational theory marked by emphasis on the individual child, informality of classroom procedure, and encouragement of self-expression
2 : of, relating to, or characterized by progression
3 : moving forward or onward : advancing
4a : increasing in extent or severity a progressive disease
b : increasing in rate as the base increases a progressive tax
5 often capitalized : of or relating to political Progressives
6 : of, relating to, or constituting a verb form that expresses action or state in progress at the time of speaking or a time spoken of
7 : of, relating to, or being a multifocal lens with a gradual transition between focal lengths progressive bifocals
8 : or, relating to, or using a method of video scanning (as for television or a computer monitor) in which the horizontal lines of each frame are drawn successively from top to bottom — compare interlaced

progressive

noun

Definition of progressive (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : one that is progressive
b : one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action
2 capitalized : a member of any of various U.S. political parties: such as
a : a member of a predominantly agrarian minor party that around 1912 split off from the Republicans specifically : bull moose
b : a follower of Robert M. La Follette in the presidential campaign of 1924
c : a follower of Henry A. Wallace in the presidential campaign of 1948

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Other Words from progressive

Adjective

progressively adverb
progressiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for progressive

Synonyms: Adjective

advanced, developed, evolved, forward, high, higher, improved, late, refined

Antonyms: Adjective

backward, low, lower, nonprogressive, primitive, retarded, rude, rudimentary, undeveloped

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Examples of progressive in a Sentence

Adjective

the progressive movements of the hands of a clock progressive forms of animal life

Noun

Believe” is never used in the progressive.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Gabbard is in many ways the antithesis of the current POTUS: young, female, progressive, experienced in war, and happens to be the first Hindu to serve in Congress. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Who’s In and Who’s Out of the 2020 Presidential Race—So Far," 3 Jan. 2019 Yuri says, launching into a rant about how one day the oppressed will rise and build a more progressive society in its place. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Laika: Forget historic tragedy, this first space dog saves alien planets," 14 Oct. 2018 Breed broke from typical San Francisco progressive politics, arguing against rent control and proposing to eliminate homeless camps via government conservatorship (essentially forced institutionalization). Antonio García Martínez, WIRED, "How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System," 9 July 2018 Harm reduction: The package does little to further some of the most progressive ideas championed by some cities in the United States and Canada. Lev Facher, STAT, "What’s in the House’s bills to address the opioid crisis — and what’s not," 21 June 2018 When scientists made the link between amyloid and Alzheimer’s in the 1980s, drugmakers jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of inventing a trillion-dollar drug for a progressive and fatal disease that affects more than 5 million Americans. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 The contrast in the candidates could not be [starker]: Mr. Cruz is the personification of Tea Party Republican activism, and Mr. O’Rourke is running as an unabashed progressive. Fox News, "Video from 2011 creates headaches for Sinema," 12 Oct. 2018 Back then, locked doors were a progressive, if not over-the-top, suggestion. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How Newtown Came Back," 1 Aug. 2018 Jocelyn Harmon is the co-founder of BlackHer, an online platform dedicated to educating and inspiring Black women to take action for progressive change. Jocelyn Harmon, Glamour, "The Black Women's Wage Gap Is Systemic, but That Doesn't Mean It Can't Change," 7 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Curbing the power of chaebols such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG has long been an article of faith for South Korean progressives. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "Business Scandals Rocked South Korea, but Promised Overhaul Underwhelms," 30 Nov. 2018 Ocasio-Cortez has become something of a national leader for progressives, pushing left-wing policies such as Medicare for all and the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Cuomo, after election win, dismisses socialist wave as 'not even a ripple'," 15 Sep. 2018 And now, in addition to head-hanging and hand-wringing and spurious, scolding tweets, the efforts by Democrats and progressives to understand and organize and reach out to white women voters continue. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Why Do White Women Keep Voting for the GOP and Against Their Own Interests?," 8 Nov. 2018 To progressives this is disconcerting—anticlimactic. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "We’ve Grown Accustomed to Trump," 17 Oct. 2018 The progressives sell free goods and seek power, planning to close the deal in the next crisis. WSJ, "A Jobs Guarantee Is a Fundamental Change," 27 Nov. 2018 Dining disruptions have clearly become a tool for progressives looking to express their frustration at the Trump administration and its supporters. Tim Carman, The Seattle Times, "Dining while dissenting: Restaurant owners grapple with outbreak of political protests," 2 Oct. 2018 Known as a progressive who supported Mayor Harold Washington during the 1980s Council Wars, Oberman was elected Metra board chairman in 2014 to fill out the term of Brad O’Halloran, who had resigned under heavy criticism. Mary Wisniewski, chicagotribune.com, "Former Metra Chairman Martin Oberman named to U.S. railroad board," 6 July 2018 Within the context of the exiled party’s Trump era ideological tug-of-war, the result was greeted as an even more significant inflection point, as the battlefield appeared to tilt decidedly toward the progressives. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "Democrats’ 2020 Hopefuls Refuse to Disagree (on the Midterms)," 1 July 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for progressive

The first known use of progressive was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for progressive

progressive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of progressive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: moving forward

: happening or developing gradually over a period of time

: using or interested in new or modern ideas especially in politics and education

progressive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of progressive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who favors new or modern ideas especially in politics and education

progressive

adjective
pro·​gres·​sive | \ prə-ˈgre-siv \

Kids Definition of progressive

1 : of, relating to, or showing advancement a progressive city
2 : taking place gradually or step by step a progressive disease
3 : favoring gradual political change and social improvement by action of the government

Other Words from progressive

progressively adverb

progressive

adjective
pro·​gres·​sive | \ prə-ˈgres-iv \

Medical Definition of progressive

1 : increasing in extent or severity a progressive disease
2 : of, relating to, or being a multifocal lens with a gradual transition between focal lengths progressive bifocals

Other Words from progressive

progressively adverb

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progressive

adjective
pro·​gres·​sive

Legal Definition of progressive

: increasing in rate as the base increases a progressive tax

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