[pav-loh-vee-uh n, -law-, -lov-ee-]
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Pavlov or his work, especially of experiments in which he elicited predictable responses from laboratory animals.

Origin of Pavlovian

First recorded in 1925–30; Pavlov + -ian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pavlovian

Contemporary Examples of pavlovian

British Dictionary definitions for pavlovian


  1. of or relating to the work of Ivan Pavlov
  2. (of a reaction or response) automatic; involuntary
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 pavlovian



1931, from the theories, experiments, and methods of Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936), especially in connection with the salivary reflexes of dogs in response to mental stimulus of the sound of a bell (attested from 1911, in Pavloff [sic] method).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper