Definition of initiative noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪˈnɪʃətɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪˈnɪʃətɪv//
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  1. 1  [countable] a new plan for dealing with a particular problem or for achieving a particular purpose a United Nations peace initiative a government initiative to combat unemployment
  2. 2  [uncountable] the ability to decide and act on your own without waiting for somebody to tell you what to do You won't get much help. You'll have to use your initiative. Too much bureaucracy represses creativity and initiative. She did it on her own initiative (= without anyone telling her to do it).
  3. 3  the initiative [singular] the power or opportunity to act and gain an advantage before other people do to seize/lose the initiative It was up to the US to take the initiative in repairing relations.
  4. 4[countable] (North American English, law) (in some states of the US) a process by which ordinary people can suggest a new law by signing a petition
  5. Word Originlate 18th cent.: from French, from Latin initiare, from initium ‘beginning’.Extra examples Don’t ask me what you should do all the time. Use your initiative! He acted on his own initiative and wasn’t following orders. He had the initiative to ask what time the last train left. In an unprecedented action, the army, on its own initiative, arrested seven civilians. In the second half, Manchester United regained the initiative. It is a very hierarchical company and there’s little place for individual initiative. Raising taxes on small businesses will stifle initiative. She then regained the initiative in winning the third game. She took the initiative in asking the board to conduct an enquiry. Some scientists show little initiative in applying their knowledge. Ten schools have been involved in the initiative. The committee endorsed an initiative by the chairman to enter discussion about a possible merger. The government has launched a new policy initiative. The initiative foundered because there was no market interest in redevelopment. The initiative to re-open negotiations came from Moscow. The peace initiative was rejected out of hand. The project was set up on the initiative of a local landowner. The research initiative is being undertaken by a group of environmentalists. We welcome the government’s initiative to help the homeless. a local initiative aimed at economic regeneration a new initiative against car theft a peace initiative sponsored by the Organization of African Unity an initiative designed to promote collaborative research an initiative for peace and human rights fresh initiatives to find a peaceful end to the conflict pioneering initiatives in bioengineering the government’s major new initiative on crime the latest initiative by the UN Secretary General A number of initiatives have been planned to tackle street crime. Government leaders are meeting to discuss the latest peace initiative. They proposed a joint initiative between the local authority and faith groups.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: initiative

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