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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

One expects academic historians to lean leftward in their judgments, and anyhow an avowedly liberal or progressive history of these years, if written with some small measure of sympathy for the other side, could be a valuable work. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘Fault Lines’ Review: How Did We Get Here?," 13 Jan. 2019 The nascent environmental movement, the founding of Earth Day, and the energy crisis created by the OPEC embargo, made an embrace of lower-emission rail and bus service both a practical and progressive stance. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Public transit’s missed opportunity," 20 Nov. 2018 The silence could be a sign that both senators are keeping a low profile as the more moderate and progressive factions of the Democratic party face off over the controversial Amazon deal. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 Polis, a progressive and former five-term member of Congress, defeated his Republican rival Walter Stapleton by six points, TIME reports. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "20 Big Firsts and Historic Wins from the 2018 Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 Akhil Reed Amar is, by all accounts, a gifted and progressive constitutional scholar. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Brett Kavanaugh’s Qualifications Don’t Matter," 10 July 2018 Designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen in 1942, the streamlined rectangular church with a modular bell tower was the town's first modernist structure, and was seen as incredibly progressive at a time when most sacred spaces were much more ornate. Allie Weiss, ELLE Decor, "5 Midcentury-Modern Landmarks You Need to See in the Midwest," 6 Dec. 2018 To preserve performance in the face of the reduced travel, the desingers changed the semi-active suspension’s damping strategy and installed progressive springs. Nick Goddard, Popular Mechanics, "Road Tested: 2019 Ducati Multistrada Enduro 1260," 24 Oct. 2018 Martha’s father George Gellhorn was a publicly progressive figure (as well as being St. Louis’s most reputable gynecologist). Paula Mclain, Town & Country, "The Extraordinary Life of Martha Gellhorn, the Woman Ernest Hemingway Tried to Erase," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Under the helpful hands of the state’s white progressives, Lewis believed, black North Carolinians would take childlike steps forward. Longreads, "Nell Battle Lewis, Storyteller for Jim Crow," 25 May 2018 This coming from the same urban progressives that voted to increase property taxes less than a week into this term. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Hey Cincinnati, here's another team of five to direct your anger toward," 19 Mar. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of progressive

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about progressive

Share progressive

Statistics for progressive

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for progressive

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

progressive

adjective
pro·​gres·​sive

Legal Definition of progressive

: increasing in rate as the base increases a progressive tax

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on progressive

What made you want to look up progressive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!