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[pruh-duhk-tiv] /prəˈdʌk tɪv/
having the power of producing; generative; creative:
a productive effort.
producing readily or abundantly; fertile:
a productive vineyard.
causing; bringing about (usually followed by of):
conditions productive of crime and sin.
Economics. producing or tending to produce goods and services having exchange value.
Grammar. (of derivational affixes or patterns) readily used in forming new words, as the suffix -ness.
(in language learning) of or relating to the language skills of speaking and writing (opposed to receptive).
Origin of productive
From the Medieval Latin word productīvus, dating back to 1605-15. See product, -ive
Related forms
productively, adverb
productiveness, noun
[proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee] /ˌproʊ dʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
antiproductive, adjective
antiproductively, adverb
antiproductiveness, noun
quasi-productive, adjective
quasi-productively, adverb
semiproductive, adjective
semiproductively, adverb
semiproductiveness, noun
unproductive, adjective
unproductively, adverb
unproductiveness, noun
2. fecund. Productive, fertile, fruitful, prolific apply to the generative aspect of something. Productive refers to a generative source of continuing activity: productive soil; a productive influence. Fertile applies to that in which seeds, literal or figurative, take root: fertile soil; a fertile imagination. Fruitful refers to that which has already produced and is capable of further production: fruitful soil, discovery, theory. Prolific means highly productive: a prolific farm, writer.
2. sterile. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for productive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • These meetings were productive of great good to the community and to individuals.

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • Your applying, however, to Reginald can be productive only of good to all parties.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • But, to pursue the subject will be productive of no benefit, so we will let it drop.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • They will see that woman was the equal, if not superior, to man in productive activity.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • No other State has so little waste land or is so productive.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
British Dictionary definitions for productive


producing or having the power to produce; fertile
yielding favourable or effective results
  1. producing or capable of producing goods and services that have monetary or exchange value: productive assets
  2. of or relating to such production: the productive processes of an industry
(postpositive) foll by of. resulting in: productive of good results
denoting an affix or combining form used to produce new words
Derived Forms
productively, adverb
productiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for productive

1610s, from French productif (16c.) and directly from Medieval Latin productivus "fit for production," from Latin product-, past participle stem of producere (see produce (v.)). Related: Productively; productiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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productive in Medicine

productive pro·duc·tive (prə-dŭk'tĭv, prō-)

  1. Producing or capable of producing mucus or sputum.

  2. Forming new tissue, as of an inflammation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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