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

  • adjective Producing or capable of producing crops, goods, or services, especially in abundance.
  • adjective Marked by abundant production or achievement: synonym: fertile.
  • adjective Yielding favorable or useful results; constructive.
  • adjective Economics Of or involved in the creation of goods and services to produce wealth or value.
  • adjective Effective in achieving specified results; originative. Used with of.
  • adjective Producing mucus or sputum.
  • adjective Forming new tissue.
  • adjective Of or relating to the linguistic skills of speaking and writing.
  • adjective Of or relating to a linguistic element or rule that can be used to form further examples of a particular feature or pattern. The English past tense suffix –ed is productive since it continues to be added to new verbs to form the past tense.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Serving to produce; having the power of producing: as, an age productive of great men.
  • Fertile; producing abundant crops: as, a productive soil.
  • In political economics, causing or tending to cause an increase in the quantity or quality of things of value; causing commodities to possess exchangeable value: as, productive labor.

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

  • adjective Having the quality or power of producing; yielding or furnishing results
  • adjective Bringing into being; causing to exist; producing; originative
  • adjective Producing, or able to produce, in large measure; fertile; profitable.

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

  • adjective Capable of producing something, especially in abundance; fertile
  • adjective yielding good or useful results; constructive
  • adjective Of, or relating to the creation of goods or services
  • adjective linguistics, of an affix or word construction rule consistently applicable to any of an open set of words

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

  • adjective yielding positive results
  • adjective producing or capable of producing (especially abundantly)
  • adjective having the ability to produce or originate
  • adjective marked by great fruitfulness


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • I think the word productive is highly deceptive and mis-leading.

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  • She said she believed her counterparts "understand the gravity of this situation", citing what she called productive and detailed conversations.

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  • Martin O'Malley on Tuesday used the first in a series of planed bill-signing ceremonies to tout what he characterized as a productive 90-day legislative session, despite tough budgetary times.

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  • She worked half days in the kitchen (which she defined as productive labor) and half days on her writing, Hebrew (which she never mastered), and knitting.

    Irma Levy Lindheim. 2009

  • And what I define as productive inter-faith dialogue is not an attempt to negotiate a position that nobody recognizes as their own, but to understand where each person's coming from, to be open to the possibility that you might emerge from the dialogue knowing more about God than when you started.

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  • Creeping round in the dead of night outing "pathetic little men" like me is what you call productive is it?

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  • Maybe we'll get a little chance to beat you up later, especially if your little talk with the boss ain't what they call productive of results.

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  • Because the ability of mankind, to develop technologies, what we call productive technologies, agriculture and industry, depends upon the development of infrastructure, as properly defined.

    LaRouche's Latest 2010

  • This is what I call productive outing because we did not focus only on boring politics, mundane issues that mainstream media doesn't care and other big stuffs, we also zoom our cameras into laksa soup, Hokkien mee soup, loh bak boiling oil, blended nutmeg juice, tempek and etc.

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