Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The power or ability to begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task; enterprise and determination.
  • noun A beginning or introductory step; an opening move.
  • noun The power or right to introduce a new legislative measure.
  • noun The right and procedure by which citizens can propose a law by petition and ensure its submission to the electorate.
  • adjective Of or relating to initiation.
  • adjective Used to initiate; initiatory.
  • idiom (on (one's) own initiative) Without prompting or direction from others; on one's own.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Serving to initiate; initiatory.
  • noun An introductory act or step; the first procedure in any enterprise; leading movement: as, to take the initiative.
  • noun The power of commencing, originating, or setting on foot; the power of taking or the ability or disposition to take the lead: as, the popular branch of a legislature usually has the initiative in making appropriations.
  • noun Specifically, the right to propose legislation, supplementary to the referendum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An introductory step or movement; an act which originates or begins.
  • noun The right or power to introduce a new measure or course of action, as in legislation.
  • noun (Political Science) The right or procedure by which legislation may be introduced or enacted directly by the people, as in the Swiss Confederation and in many of the States of the United States; -- chiefly used with the. The procedure of the initiative is essentially as follows: Upon the filing of a petition signed by a required number or percentage of qualified voters the desired measure must be submitted to a popular vote, and upon receiving the required majority (commonly a majority of those voting on the measure submitted) it becomes a law. In some States of the United States the initiative is only local; in others it is state-wide and includes the making of constitutional amendments.
  • noun a character trait manifested in a readiness and ability to initiate action; an enterprising spirit; a go-getting attitude; energy; drive; get-up-and-go.
  • noun in interactive activities, such as conversation or games, the right or opportunity to set the course of action.
  • adjective Serving to initiate; inceptive; initiatory; introductory; preliminary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A beginning; a first move.
  • noun A new development; a fresh approach to something; a new way of dealing with a problem.
  • noun The ability to act first or on one's own.
  • noun An issue to be voted on, brought to the ballot by a sufficient number of signatures from among the voting public.
  • adjective In which voter initiatives can be brought to the ballot.

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

  • noun readiness to embark on bold new ventures
  • noun the first of a series of actions
  • adjective serving to set in motion

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French initiative, from Medieval Latin *initiativus ("serving to initiate"), from Late Latin initiare ("to begin, Latin initiate"), from Latin initium ("beginning"), from ineo ("enter, begin").

Examples

  • Could you just give us some more color on the label initiative?

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  • Since the 1-1 draw seven weeks ago at Blackburn Rovers that seemed to hand the title initiative to Manchester United, Lampard has scored 11 goals in nine games, including a remarkable four in the 7-1 rout of Aston Villa.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • In addition to the label initiative, Cyr said that Sunny Delight plans to aggressively market its low-calorie drinks and is trying to reduce the calories in the rest of its drinks.

    Los Angeles Business News - Local Los Angeles News | Los Angeles Business from bizjournals

  • Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti admits that Wayne Rooney's absence could allow his side to seize the title initiative from Manchester United when the two clubs clash at Old Trafford on Saturday.

    icHuddersfield

  • In addition to the label initiative, Cyr said that Sunny Delight plans to aggressively market its low-calorie drinks and is trying to reduce the calories in the rest of its drinks.

    Jacksonville Business News - Local Jacksonville News | Jacksonville Business Journal

  • Chelsea had only managed six points from their previous six away games, a sequence that was threatening to hand the title initiative to Sir Alex Ferguson's team, but Drogba wrestled that back in impressive fashion.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • Chelsea had only managed six points from their previous six away games, a sequence that was threatening to hand the title initiative to Sir Alex Ferguson's team, but Drogba wrestled that back in impressive fashion.

    Soccerway.com

  • Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti admits that Wayne Rooney's absence could allow his side to seize the title initiative from Manchester United when the two clubs clash at Old Trafford on Saturday.

    Football.co.uk news feed

  • Chelsea had only managed six points from their previous six away games, a sequence that was threatening to hand the title initiative to Sir Alex Ferguson's team, but Drogba wrestled that back in impressive fashion.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • In addition to the label initiative, Cyr said that Sunny Delight plans to aggressively market its low-calorie drinks and is trying to reduce the calories in the rest of its drinks.

    National Business News - Local Business News | bizjournals

Comments

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  • The mask-maker's elevating talk about the gods, followed by the initative ceremony of his saintly mask, had driven all discordant memories from his love-thoughts of Jenny Mere.

    —Max Beerbohm, The Happy Hypocrite, 1897

    (rare use as adj. "initiating")

    December 31, 2008