See more synonyms for creative on
  1. having the quality or power of creating.
  2. resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative: creative writing.
  3. originative; productive (usually followed by of).
  4. Facetious. using or creating exaggerated or skewed data, information, etc.: creative bookkeeping.

Origin of creative

First recorded in 1670–80; create + -ive
Related formscre·a·tive·ly, adverbcre·a·tive·ness, nounan·ti·cre·a·tive, adjectivean·ti·cre·a·tive·ly, adverban·ti·cre·a·tive·ness, nounnon·cre·a·tive, adjectivenon·cre·a·tive·ly, adverbnon·cre·a·tive·ness, nounsub·cre·a·tive, adjectivesub·cre·a·tive·ly, adverbsub·cre·a·tive·ness, nounun·cre·a·tive, adjectiveun·cre·a·tive·ly, adverbun·cre·a·tive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for creative

Contemporary Examples of creative

Historical Examples of creative

  • It would not be in accord with creative energy that I should go backward.

  • After that, I hope to be able to recreate my creative faculty.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • On what agonies of creative and original minds is the safety of their homes based?

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • Of the creative arts, there is one part purer or more akin to knowledge than the other.

  • Of the creative arts, then, we may make two classes—the less exact and the more exact.

British Dictionary definitions for creative


  1. having the ability to create
  2. characterized by originality of thought; having or showing imaginationa creative mind
  3. designed to or tending to stimulate the imaginationcreative toys
  4. characterized by sophisticated bending of the rules or conventionscreative accounting
  1. a creative person, esp one who devises advertising campaigns
Derived Formscreatively, adverbcreativeness, nouncreativity, 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

Word Origin and History for creative

1670s, "having the quality of creating," from create + -ive. Of literature, "imaginative," from 1816, first attested in Wordsworth. Creative writing is attested from 1907. Related: Creatively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper