re·​duc·​tive ri-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce reductive (audio)
: of, relating to, causing, or involving reduction
: of or relating to reductionism : reductionistic
reductively adverb
reductiveness noun

Example Sentences

a reductive interpretation of the theory
Recent Examples on the Web That can be so reductive — and Emily, in refusing to really talk to her sister, speaks volumes. Darren Franich,, 9 Mar. 2023 But even Maskin, who recalls going to see the band Heart perform while growing up, says there was something reductive and tokenizing about the way the rock band was talked about at the time. Cyrena Touros, ELLE, 31 Dec. 2022 Over the years, Wood has transformed songs — calling them covers seems too reductive — by contemporary names such as Fiona Apple, Sia and Prince. Eva Recinos, Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2023 Another question is curatorial: Why not hang the photographs chronologically — or would that seem reductive? Mark Feeney,, 25 Jan. 2023 But that’s an awfully reductive way of thinking about The View, which—despite its many chaotic low points—created a new, more ambitious, paradigm for talk shows aimed at a female audience. Time, 31 Dec. 2022 Keep in mind that this is a fairly reductive way to view overall health and wellness. Mark Travers, Forbes, 31 July 2022 Yet if the draggy storytelling is reductive, fear not. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2023 But, like Bernice King, the senator warned against a reductive understanding of King. Arkansas Online, 17 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of reductive was in 1633

Dictionary Entries Near reductive

Cite this Entry

“Reductive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


re·​duc·​tive ri-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce reductive (audio)
: of, relating to, causing, or involving reduction

More from Merriam-Webster on reductive

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