- an introductory act or step; leading action: to take the initiative in making friends.
- readiness and ability in initiating action; enterprise: to lack initiative.
- one's personal, responsible decision: to act on one's own initiative.
- a procedure by which a specified number of voters may propose a statute, constitutional amendment, or ordinance, and compel a popular vote on its adoption.Compare referendum(def 1).
- the general right or ability to present a new bill or measure, as in a legislature.
Origin of initiative
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for initiative
This initiative had the support of all 22 members of the Arab League, which in and of itself is remarkable.In the Middle East, the Two-State Solution Is Dead
January 2, 2015
After almost five months without a solution, the lack of initiative is starting to embarrass the Lebanese government.A Sunni-Shia Love Story Imperiled by al Qaeda
December 26, 2014
A major part of the Obama initiative aims to get more and better Internet access for the Cuban people.Obama Realizes What 10 Presidents Didn’t: Isolating Cuba Doesn’t Work
December 18, 2014
In an Oct. 31 poll from Washington, 12 percent of women claimed they were undecided about Initiative 502.Women Are Leading the Way for Legalized Weed
December 4, 2014
That initiative was beaten back, but things have changed since then.The Monuments Men of Occupy Hong Kong
December 4, 2014
It inspires the initiative that makes our productivity the wonder of the world.
Kingozi concluded that she wished the initiative to come from him.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
But he was not going to risk a wound to his vanity by taking the initiative too earnestly.Roden's Corner
Henry Seton Merriman
Mrs. Shelley, then, had the wit to guess where the initiative lay.The Education of Eric Lane
Nelthorp had already vanished completely on his own initiative.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
- the first step or action of a matter; commencing movehe took the initiative; a peace initiative
- the right or power to begin or initiate somethinghe has the initiative
- the ability or attitude required to begin or initiate something
- the right or power to introduce legislation, etc, in a legislative body
- the procedure by which citizens originate legislation, as in many American states and Switzerland
- on one's own initiative without being prompted
- of or concerning initiation or serving to initiate; initiatory
Word Origin and History for initiative
1793, "that which begins," also "power of initiating," from French initiative (1560s), from Latin initiatus (see initiation). First attested in English in writings of William Godwin. Phrase take the initiative recorded by 1844.