re·​duc·​tive | \ ri-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce reductive (audio) \

Definition of reductive

1 : of, relating to, causing, or involving reduction
2 : of or relating to reductionism : reductionistic

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Other Words from reductive

reductively adverb
reductiveness noun

Examples of reductive in a Sentence

a reductive interpretation of the theory
Recent Examples on the Web Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a feminist hero, and that’s the most reductive way to put it. Washington Post, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave us more than enough," 19 Sep. 2020 Even at the most basic, reductive, materialistic level, a man with a wife and three children has more DNA invested in the next generation than in his own body. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The First Bond — the Family — Is Weak," 14 Sep. 2020 Likewise, Mary’s account of her father’s alcoholism is oddly reductive, especially for someone who once treated addiction patients at a community clinic. Anne Diebel, The New York Review of Books, "Trumps on the Couch," 8 Sep. 2020 The stunning, sweeping landscape camera angles and beautiful set and costume design did not make up for the at-times reductive presentation of Chinese culture, which felt akin to walking through a Chinatown novelty store. Grace Wong,, "Commentary: ‘Mulan’ remake a twisted reflection of the animated version, upending a rare positive portrayal for Chinese Americans like me," 5 Sep. 2020 The bickering nature of their relationship was, at times, reductive. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The Hills: Every Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag Fight, Ranked by Ridiculousness," 26 Aug. 2020 Yet, as Giovanna soon realizes, the lies designed by their literary culture are too reductive to give meaning to her quest to understand her sudden alienation from her life. Merve Emre, The Atlantic, "Elena Ferrante’s Master Class on Deceit," 8 Aug. 2020 The reductive portrait of class warfare would’ve felt cheap in a Hunger Games rip-off 10 years ago. Darren Franich,, "Brave New World is sex and drugs and rock without soul: Review," 9 July 2020 The most recent decision to revamp the brand, which has been criticized for promulgating a reductive and racist version of slavery,came amid ongoing protests calling for racial justice. NBC News, "Relatives of Aunt Jemima actresses express concern history will be erased with rebranding," 17 June 2020

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

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reductive

Time Traveler

The first known use of reductive was in 1633

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Statistics for reductive

Last Updated

29 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reductive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for reductive


How to pronounce reductive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reductive

formal + often disapproving : dealing with or describing something complicated in a simple or too simple way


re·​duc·​tive | \ ri-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce reductive (audio) \

Medical Definition of reductive

: of, relating to, causing, or involving reduction

More from Merriam-Webster on reductive

Britannica English: Translation of reductive for Arabic Speakers

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