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

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images The Democrats’ intraparty fight over how robust their progressive agenda should be began during the 2016 primary contest, and has only accelerated since then, prompting a broader party shift to the left. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Rift Emerges Among Democrats Over Leftward Shift," 13 July 2018 Thus differences over whether the federal government should offer a public health-insurance option or introduce a single-payer system can become litmus tests for the party’s progressive wing. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Baker’s centrist, pragmatic platform contrasted with Jealous’s progressive agenda. Teo Armus, Washington Post, "In race for Md. governor, Jealous emphasizes unity among black Democrats," 7 July 2018 The Working Families party does not run its own slate but rather cross endorses major party candidates, almost always Democrats who back the party’s progressive agenda. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Working Families Party Endorses Jahana Hayes in the 5th District," 2 July 2018 Sheinbaum Pardo speaks highly of his administrative experience and progressive policies. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Can this environmental engineer—now elected mayor—fix Mexico City?," 2 July 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents something new in national politics in the United States—a Latina millennial entering power with a bold, progressive agenda. Josh Hoxie, Fortune, "What Ocasio-Cortez’s Win Says About the Rise of the Left," 27 June 2018 After her opponent Mark Leno, who ran on a more progressive agenda, conceded Wednesday, some major names in tech applauded Breed’s win. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, "London Breed as mayor has the tech industry excited. Will it last?," 15 June 2018 Statistically, the bakfietsmoeder has two or more children and votes for progressive parties such as GroenLinks or D66. Olga Mecking, The Atlantic, "‘Cargo-Bike Moms’ Are Gentrifying the Netherlands," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For progressives, Wisconsin has been a demoralizing case in point. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "How Conservatives Bet Big on Wisconsin and Won," 11 July 2018 What was most exciting for progressives is the degree to which Ocasio-Cortez ran to Crowley’s left. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just won a House primary as a write-in — for a district she wasn’t intending to run in," 11 July 2018 As president of the Board of Supervisors, Breed had succeeded the late Mayor Ed Lee on an interim basis, but the board’s progressives replaced her with Farrell, partly of because Breed held dual executive and legislative roles. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "Now-former SF Mayor Farrell looks back on short term, future of city," 12 July 2018 Now, finally, here are progressives with a bumper-sticker slogan — and the Democratic establishment is terrified of it. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "Why they risked everything to Occupy ICE | Will Bunch," 5 July 2018 If Raise Up’s Fastino was apprehensive, the first few meetings put the progressives at ease. Shirley Leung, BostonGlobe.com, "How progressives and businesses made an unlikely deal on family leave," 28 June 2018 In an ideal world, progressives would be able to assemble a broad, cross-racial, working class coalition by simply appealing to the rational, material interests of ordinary Americans. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Ocasio-Cortez Proved That ‘Identity Politics’ Is an Asset For Berniecrats," 27 June 2018 Right-wing social conservatives are rarely pro-environment, and left-wing social progressives are likely to be anti-gun. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale': Season 2, Episode 6 Recap - 12 Haunting Moments From 'First Blood'," 23 May 2018 Over the last month, progressives have been celebrating the legislation recently introduced by Senator Cory Booker, calling for a pilot job guarantee in 15 cities and regions, co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. Peter-christian Aigner, The New Republic, "The Long, Tortured History of the Job Guarantee," 11 May 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

8 Oct 2018

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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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Comments on progressive

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