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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for suggestively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “I am sorry, but it is not necessary,” she replied, suggestively.

    Northern Lights Gilbert Parker
  • "If you mention me in dispatches," Bones went on suggestively.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • Rather curiously and suggestively no mention is made in this immediate connection of the technique of lithotomy.

    Gilbertus Anglicus Henry Ebenezer Handerson
  • “And also how to prevent others from avoiding it,” he replied, suggestively.

    In Her Own Right John Reed Scott
  • "You'd better make it your business," said the other suggestively.

    Desert Conquest A. M. Chisholm
  • It is the half-formed, the perplexed, and the suggestively monstrous.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • He had already left the ranks, and grinned at Maccario suggestively as he laid a bottle of red wine in Tonys hands.

    The Dust of Conflict David Goodger (
  • “Toss for the jewels and the siller,” said Spink, suggestively.

    The Lighthouse R.M. Ballantyne
  • The voice was unsteady, and the patter of bare feet that accompanied it suggestively uneven.

    The Coast of Adventure Harold Bindloss
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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