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

It’s being called a #MeToo novel, but that’s a reductive way of looking at the book, which is an innovative tapestry of complicated ideas about morality and belief and women’s self-determination within a religious patriarchy. Janelle Brown, Los Angeles Times, "Reading Nook: The chaise lounge that made Janelle Brown feel like a grownup," 15 Aug. 2019 The artist’s approach might be termed a reductive realism that calls attention to essential detail. Mike Giuliano,, "Artists converge at Meeting House Gallery in Columbia," 9 Aug. 2019 Some, however, criticized the film for a reductive take on racial issues, and the Shirley family denounced it as inaccurate. Justin Curto,, "5 Things to Know About 2019 MTV VMAs Host Sebastian Maniscalco," 26 Aug. 2019 Asian actors were still pigeonholed into narrow and reductive parts: Randall Park, for example, played doctors over and over again early in his career, including on Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Bold and the Beautiful. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Crazy Rich Asians Kicked Down the Door. Now Asian Americans Are Fighting To Stay in the Room," 10 July 2019 That putting Swift's struggles with online haters and the LGBTQ+ community’s struggles with systemic bigotry under the same lyrical umbrella is reductive. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Stop Meme-ing Taylor Swift," 19 June 2019 Claws is the latest in a long line of shows and films that upend reductive stereotypes about fashion by using it as a tool to illuminate the many ways women relate to the world. Cate Young, Vox, "Claws is a love letter to the proud, strip mall–fabulous American woman," 2 Aug. 2019 To say this was a reductive summation of both of their work is an understatement. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "This (Wo)Man’s Work," 19 July 2019 Visual and narrative complexity is a way of keeping the uninitiated out and also a way to diverge dramatically from the tendency in much of modernism toward reductive art-making with radically simple forms. Dallas News, "Texas artist Trenton Doyle Hancock builds a world in massive exhibition space," 19 July 2019

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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Statistics for reductive

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for reductive

The first known use of reductive was in 1633

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reductive

Britannica English: Translation of reductive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reductive

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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