American English

Definition of initiative noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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 someone 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. 3the 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 U.S. to take the initiative in repairing relations.
  4. 4[countable] (law) (in some states of the U.S.) a process by which ordinary people can suggest a new law by signing a petition
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: initiative

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