reactive

adjective
re·​ac·​tive | \ rē-ˈak-tiv How to pronounce reactive (audio) \

Definition of reactive

1 : of, relating to, or marked by reaction or reactance
2a : readily responsive to a stimulus
b : occurring as a result of stress or emotional upset reactive depression

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Other Words from reactive

reactively adverb
reactiveness noun

Examples of reactive in a Sentence

The government's response to the problem was reactive rather than proactive.

Recent Examples on the Web

Whereas reactive policing often responds after a crime has occurred, proactive policing at its best recognizes signs ahead of time or responds in the moment. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Proactive police activity plummeted after new Louisville traffic stop policy unveiled," 5 June 2019 Meditation and mindfulness training offered by her employer, Herman Miller , a Zeeland, Mich., furniture-design company, has helped Ms. Snyder be less reactive to stress. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "The Most Anxious Generation Goes to Work," 9 May 2019 Others seem inordinately aggressive or overly reactive. BostonGlobe.com, "We can’t afford to replace empathy with apathy," 29 June 2018 The prior 11 were all reactive towards the black community. Fox News, "Laura Ingraham: Resisting for all the wrong reasons," 3 Aug. 2018 When the market is volatile, and people see their money going down in value, many people are fearful and reactive to these circumstances. WSJ, "Not All Financial Planning Is Created Equal," 15 Apr. 2019 And every part of the body has advantages and disadvantages: The immune system is crucial but can be too reactive, leading to autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Good Reasons for Bad Feelings’ Review: Suffering’s Silver Lining," 13 Feb. 2019 But these founders hope streamlining the process of getting them will help women move from being reactive to proactive about fertility. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "Do You Need a Fertility Test—Even If You’re Not Trying to Get Pregnant?," 13 Dec. 2018 In the thinner air, controls become too reactive and unpredictable for a human being to manage. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA's Crazy, Kooky, Legendary Research Facility," 3 Nov. 2016

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

1717, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for reactive

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for reactive

The first known use of reactive was in 1717

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More Definitions for reactive

reactive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of reactive

: done in response to a problem or situation : reacting to problems when they occur instead of doing something to prevent them
chemistry : tending to change into something else when mixed with another substance

reactive

adjective
re·​ac·​tive | \ rē-ˈak-tiv How to pronounce reactive (audio) \

Medical Definition of reactive

1a : of, relating to, or marked by reaction reactive symptoms a reactive process
b : capable of reacting chemically highly reactive materials
2a : readily responsive to a stimulus the skin of the geriatric is less reactive than that of younger persons— Louis Tuft
b : occurring as a result of stress or emotional upset especially from factors outside the organism reactive depression

More from Merriam-Webster on reactive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reactive

Britannica English: Translation of reactive for Arabic Speakers

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