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

  • adjective Moving forward; advancing.
  • adjective Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments.
  • adjective Open to or favoring new ideas, policies, or methods.
  • adjective Of or relating to a Progressive Party.
  • adjective Of or relating to progressive education.
  • adjective Increasing in rate as the taxable amount increases.
  • adjective Tending to become more severe or wider in scope.
  • adjective Grammar Designating a verb form that expresses an action or condition in progress.
  • adjective Music Of or being a style that emphasizes virtuoso technique, rhythmic and melodic complexity, and unconventional forms and instrumentation.
  • noun A person who is open to or favors new ideas, policies, or methods, especially in politics.
  • noun A member or supporter of a Progressive Party.
  • noun Grammar A progressive verb form.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Going forward; moving onward; advancing; making progress, in any sense: as, progressive motion or course.
  • Favoring progress; using one's influence or directing one's efforts in the line of advancement or improvement: as, to be progressive in one's ideas about education; a progressive age.
  • Indicative of progress.
  • and a myopathic form, related to pseudohypertrophic paralysis.
  • noun One who is in favor of progress; one who promotes or commends reforms or changes: opposed to conservative.

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

  • adjective Moving forward; proceeding onward; advancing; evincing progress; increasing; ; -- opposed to retrograde.
  • adjective Improving.
  • adjective (U. S. History) Of or pertaining to the Progressive party.
  • adjective Favoring improvement, change, progress, or reform, especially in a political context; -- used of people. Contrasted with conservative.
  • adjective Disposed toward adopting new methods in government or education, holding tolerant and liberal ideas, and generally favoring improvement in civic life; -- of towns and communities.
  • adjective a way of playing at card parties, by which after every game, the losers at the first table go to the last table, and the winners at all the tables, except the first, move up to the next table.
  • adjective (Med.) a nervous disorder characterized by continuous atrophy of the muscles.

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

  • adjective Favouring or promoting progress; advanced.
  • adjective Gradually advancing in extent; increasing.
  • adjective Promoting or favoring progress towards improved conditions or new policies, ideas or methods.
  • adjective Of or relating to progressive education.
  • adjective of an income tax or other tax Increasing in rate as the taxable amount increases.
  • adjective Advancing in severity.
  • adjective liberal (politically)
  • adjective grammar continuous
  • noun A person who actively favors or strives for progress towards improved conditions, as in society or government.
  • noun grammar A progressive verb.

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

  • noun a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties
  • adjective favoring or promoting reform (often by government action)
  • adjective favoring or promoting progress
  • noun a tense of verbs used in describing action that is on-going
  • adjective gradually advancing in extent
  • adjective (of taxes) adjusted so that the rate increases as the amount of income increases
  • adjective advancing in severity
  • adjective (of a card game or a dance) involving a series of sections for which the participants successively change place or relative position


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Ooh, I hate this one too.

    April 20, 2010

  • The true and useful meaning of progressive is to indicate positive movement or development, whereas in TaxVampirespeke, it is a stand-in for policies which are little more than the petulant result of thinly-veiled jealousy by people whose core religious faith lies in unreasoning, punitive assaults on capital, as well as attacks on the fine people who bring the social body such terrible things as jobs and the chance to live a life of purpose and dignity.

    May 27, 2010