Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Assembled into or viewed as a whole.
  • adj. Of, relating to, characteristic of, or made by a number of people acting as a group: a collective decision.
  • n. An undertaking, such as a business operation, set up on the principles or system of collectivism.
  • n. Grammar A collective noun.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Formed by gathering or collecting; gathered into a mass, sum, or body; congregated or aggregated; as, the collective body of a nation.
  • adj. : Deducing consequences; reasoning; inferring.
  • adj. : Expressing a collection or aggregate of individuals, by a singular form; as, a collective name or noun, like assembly, army, jury, etc.
  • adj. Tending to collect; forming a collection.
  • adj. Having plurality of origin or authority; as, in diplomacy, a note signed by the representatives of several governments is called a collective note.
  • n. A farm owned by a collection of people.
  • n. A collective noun or name.
  • n. A group dedicated to a particular cause or interest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Formed by gathering or collecting; gathered into a mass, sum, or body; congregated or aggregated.
  • adj. Deducing consequences; reasoning; inferring.
  • adj. Expressing a collection or aggregate of individuals, by a singular form
  • adj. Tending to collect; forming a collection.
  • adj. Having plurality of origin or authority.
  • n. A collective noun or name.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Belonging to, vested in, or exercised by a number of individuals jointly, or considered as forming one body; united; aggregated: opposed to individual and distributive: as, collective actions.
  • In grammar, denoting an aggregate, group, or assemblage; expressing under the singular form a whole consisting of a plurality of individual objects or persons: as, a collective noun.
  • Deducing consequences; reasoning; inferring.
  • Having the quality or power of collecting together; tending to collect; forming a collection.
  • Relating to or of the nature of collectivism; belonging to the people as a whole.
  • n. In grammar, a noun in the singular number signifying an aggregate or assemblage, as multitude, crowd, troop, herd, people, society, Clergy, meeting, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. done by or characteristic of individuals acting together
  • adj. set up on the principle of collectivism or ownership and production by the workers involved usually under the supervision of a government
  • n. members of a cooperative enterprise
  • adj. forming a whole or aggregate

Etymologies

From Latin collectivus, from collectus, past participle of colligere ("to collect"), from com- ("together") + legere ("to gather"). Compare French collectif. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Ayers uses the word collective more often and in more ways than even Marx did.

    Deconstructing Obama

  • So to my friends who hate collective purchasing and I use the word collective to spur them to action, it is incumbent upon you to find a solution that will allow the individual consumer to have the security and access to the same level of health care that can be gotten through some form of insurance.

    Gary Puckrein: The Democratization of Health Care:The Case Against Individual Retail Transactions

  • The term collective will be used to describe the conception of a group right as a shared or joint right, since it conceives a right-holding group as a “collection” of individuals, albeit a collection that is bound together in a way that enables them to hold their right collectively.

    Group Rights

  • You used the term collective consciousness religiously.

    The Real Time Search Dilemma: Consciousness Versus Memory

  • For the mass phenomenon, the large group of flowers, the tosses with the die, the molecules, we use provi - sionally the term collective (see complete definition in subsection 7, below), and we call labels, or simply results, the mutually exclusive and exhaustive proper - ties under observation.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • The term collective behavior, which has been used elsewhere to include all the facts of group life, has been limited for the purposes of this chapter to those phenomena which exhibit in the most obvious and elementary way the processes by which societies are disintegrated into their constituent elements and the processes by which these elements are brought together again into new relations to form new organizations and new societies.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

  • Individual protection covered the mask and any other protective appliance used by the individual soldier, while the term collective protection was applied to any method or appliance which afforded simultaneous protection for a number of individuals.

    The riddle of the Rhine, chemical strategy in peace and war ...

  • Perhaps Lowenstein's worst subliminal cue is the phrase "collective guilt," most commonly used when discussing the crimes of Germany under the Nazis.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Robert C. Allen (1983, p. 2) used the term collective invention to describe "the free exchange of information about new techniques and plant designs among firms in an industry."

    P2P Foundation

  • By the term collective salvation he means the appeal of revolutionary art which offers the artist a special role, first as evangelist and later as beneficiary, in the utopian society brought about by the revolution.

    Club Troppo

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