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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 suggestiveness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is full of suggestiveness, and, in its way, is as good as a cathedral.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Can the English Gladstonians get away from the suggestiveness of this fact?

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • He called her name; the ensuing silence was ghastly in its suggestiveness.

    The Web of the Golden Spider

    Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • The involutions, the suggestiveness so attractive to adult ears, he cannot hear.

    Here and Now Story Book Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • And these have each their special religious associations and suggestiveness.

    The Worship of the Church

    Jacob A. Regester
  • This suggestiveness was lost upon Catherine, who repeated her violent inquiry.

    Washington Square Henry James
  • The tragic power and suggestiveness of these two poems is very remarkable.

  • This notwithstanding, they are valuable by reason of their suggestiveness.

  • He loves words for their sound, their suggestiveness, their color.

    Expository Writing Mervin James Curl
British Dictionary definitions for suggestiveness


(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 suggestiveness



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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