sug·​ges·​tive | \səg-ˈje-stiv, sə-ˈje-\

Definition of suggestive 

1a : giving a suggestion : indicative suggestive of a past era

b : full of suggestions : stimulating thought provided a suggestive … commentary on the era— Lloyd Morris

c : stirring mental associations : evocative

2 : suggesting or tending to suggest something improper or indecent : risqué

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Other Words from suggestive

suggestively adverb
suggestiveness noun

Synonyms for suggestive


bawdy, blue, gamy (or gamey), lewd, off, off-color (or off-colored), racy, ribald, risqué, salty, spicy

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Examples of suggestive in a Sentence

making unwelcome suggestive remarks to a subordinate will be regarded as sexual harassment a haunting and suggestive song about a long-lost love

Recent Examples on the Web

The secret is to opt for something a bit more thoughtful than suggestive. Anny Choi, Vogue, "How to Gift Lingerie the Right Way," 6 Dec. 2018 Though not definitive proof, this evidence is highly suggestive that an ancient capital indeed once stood there. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Finding Pharaoh and spotting looters from orbit," 1 Nov. 2018 The Dragon Prince offers viewers a rich and suggestive world that’s teeming with possibilities about what might be happening beyond the frame. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The Dragon Prince is influenced by Avatar: The Last Airbender in the best ways," 7 Sep. 2018 Voice fans immediately hopped on Twitter during her set to complain about its suggestive content. Jessica Mckinney, Billboard, "'Voice' Fans Slam Janelle Monae's 'Make Me Feel' Performance For Being Too Raunchy," 2 May 2018 The alleged behavior detailed by the Tribune included suggestive comments, extended hugs, an unwanted kiss and invitations to hotel rooms. Manya Brachear Pashman,, "Willow Creek co-pastor issues public apology for mishandling allegations," 29 June 2018 Owners Mike Pegram and the late Caesar Kimmel were famous for trying to slip suggestive names past The Jockey Club. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "Giving your Derby horse a cool name can be harder than winning the race," 30 Apr. 2018 The third movement’s opening is announced by Minimalist harp figures and muted tones — suggestive of jazz, but not imitative — in the brasses. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "Review: The New York Philharmonic Gets Audacious, With Ease," 10 June 2018 Transportation Song Quiz The lyrics to last week’s song were slightly suggestive, by Edwardian standards. Mary Wisniewski,, "Get ready for buses at O'Hare this year as 'people mover' gets rehab," 24 May 2018

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

1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

19 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suggestive

The first known use of suggestive was in 1631

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More Definitions for suggestive



English Language Learners Definition of suggestive

: bringing thoughts, memories, or feelings into the mind

: showing or seeming to show something

: causing or tending to cause sexual feelings or excitement


sug·​ges·​tive | \səg-ˈje-stiv, sə-ˈje-\

Kids Definition of suggestive

1 : giving a hint The furniture is suggestive of the past.

2 : full of suggestions I read a suggestive book about decorating.

3 : suggesting something improper or indecent


sug·​ges·​tive | \sə(g)-ˈjes-tiv \

Medical Definition of suggestive 

1 : serving to indicate a butterfly-shaped red rash…is highly suggestive of the disease— S. E. Goldfinger et al

2 : tending to act like or have the effect of suggestion

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Legal Definition of suggestive 

: giving a suggestion or making a hint: as

a : being a trademark, trade dress, trade name, or service mark that requires the consumer to use thought and imagination to perceive the nature of the product or service

Note: Suggestive marks are entitled to trademark protection without proof of secondary meaning.

b : relating to or being a lineup that in some way suggests to the witness which member of the lineup is in fact the defendant

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More from Merriam-Webster on suggestive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suggestive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suggestive

Spanish Central: Translation of suggestive

Nglish: Translation of suggestive for Spanish Speakers

Comments on suggestive

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


a knickknack or trinket

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