[proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee, prod-uhk‐]
  1. the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services: The productivity of the group's effort surprised everyone.
  2. Economics. the rate at which goods and services having exchange value are brought forth or produced: Productivity increased dramatically last year.
  3. Grammar. the ability to form new words using established patterns and discrete linguistic elements, as the derivational affixes -ness and -ity.
Related formsan·ti·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty, adjective, nounnon·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty, nounsem·i·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty, nounun·pro·duc·tiv·i·ty, noun


  1. having the power of producing; generative; creative: a productive effort.
  2. producing readily or abundantly; fertile: a productive vineyard.
  3. causing; bringing about (usually followed by of): conditions productive of crime and sin.
  4. Economics. producing or tending to produce goods and services having exchange value.
  5. Grammar. (of derivational affixes or patterns) readily used in forming new words, as the suffix -ness.
  6. (in language learning) of or relating to the language skills of speaking and writing (opposed to receptive).

Origin of productive

From the Medieval Latin word productīvus, dating back to 1605–15. See product, -ive
Related formspro·duc·tive·ly, adverbpro·duc·tive·ness, nounpro·duc·tiv·i·ty [proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee] /ˌproʊ dʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti/, nounan·ti·pro·duc·tive, adjectivean·ti·pro·duc·tive·ly, adverban·ti·pro·duc·tive·ness, nounqua·si-pro·duc·tive, adjectivequa·si-pro·duc·tive·ly, adverbsem·i·pro·duc·tive, adjectivesem·i·pro·duc·tive·ly, adverbsem·i·pro·duc·tive·ness, nounun·pro·duc·tive, adjectiveun·pro·duc·tive·ly, adverbun·pro·duc·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms for productive

2. fecund. Productive, fertile, fruitful, prolific apply to the generative aspect of something. Productive refers to a generative source of continuing activity: productive soil; a productive influence. Fertile applies to that in which seeds, literal or figurative, take root: fertile soil; a fertile imagination. Fruitful refers to that which has already produced and is capable of further production: fruitful soil, discovery, theory. Prolific means highly productive: a prolific farm, writer.

Antonyms for productive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for productivities


  1. producing or having the power to produce; fertile
  2. yielding favourable or effective results
  3. economics
    1. producing or capable of producing goods and services that have monetary or exchange valueproductive assets
    2. of or relating to such productionthe productive processes of an industry
  4. (postpositive foll by of) resulting inproductive of good results
  5. denoting an affix or combining form used to produce new words
Derived Formsproductively, adverbproductiveness, noun


  1. the output of an industrial concern in relation to the materials, labour, etc, it employs
  2. the state of being productive
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 productivities



1610s, from French productif (16c.) and directly from Medieval Latin productivus "fit for production," from Latin product-, past participle stem of producere (see produce (v.)). Related: Productively; productiveness.



1809, "quality of being productive," from productive + -ity. An earlier word for this was productiveness (1727). Economic sense of "rate of output per unit" is from 1899.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

productivities in Medicine


[prə-dŭktĭv, prō-]
  1. Producing or capable of producing mucus or sputum.
  2. Forming new tissue, as of an inflammation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

productivities in Culture


In business, a measure of worker efficiency, such as one hundred units per hour. In economics, involvement in the creation of goods and services to produce wealth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.