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[suh g-jes-tiv, suh-] /səgˈdʒɛs tɪv, sə-/
that suggests; referring to other thoughts, persons, etc.:
His recommendation was suggestive of his boss's thinking.
rich in suggestions or ideas:
a suggestive critical essay.
evocative; presented partially rather than in detail.
that suggests or implies something improper or indecent; risqué:
suggestive remarks.
Origin of suggestive
First recorded in 1625-35; suggest + -ive
Related forms
suggestively, adverb
suggestiveness, noun
nonsuggestive, adjective
nonsuggestively, adverb
nonsuggestiveness, noun
presuggestive, adjective
unsuggestive, adjective
unsuggestively, adverb
unsuggestiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for suggestively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Phil jingled them suggestively, and kept on into the restaurant.

  • "While we speculate the dinner cools," said Miss Maddledock suggestively.

  • "If you mention me in dispatches," Bones went on suggestively.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • "I suppose my trunk is somewhere else," she said suggestively.

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
  • "Unless we're going out to the stable," she said suggestively.

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
  • “And also how to prevent others from avoiding it,” he replied, suggestively.

    In Her Own Right

    John Reed Scott
  • “I am sorry, but it is not necessary,” she replied, suggestively.

    Northern Lights Gilbert Parker
  • It is the half-formed, the perplexed, and the suggestively monstrous.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • "No—physical hindrance that I know of," said he suggestively.

British Dictionary definitions for suggestively


(postpositive) foll by of. conveying a hint (of something): this painting is suggestive of a hot summer day
tending to suggest something improper or indecent
able or liable to suggest an idea, plan, etc
Derived Forms
suggestively, adverb
suggestiveness, 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 suggestively



1630s, "conveying a hint," from suggest + -ive. Specifically as a faintly euphemistic reference to proposals of indecent behavior, from 1888. Related: Suggestively; suggestiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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