What does Initiative mean?

Definitions for Initiative
ɪˈnɪʃ i ə tɪv, ɪˈnɪʃ ə-Ini·tia·tive

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Initiative.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. enterprise, enterprisingness, initiative, go-aheadnoun

    readiness to embark on bold new ventures

  2. first step, initiative, opening move, openingadjective

    the first of a series of actions

  3. inaugural, initiative, initiatory, first, maidenadjective

    serving to set in motion

    "the magazine's inaugural issue"; "the initiative phase in the negotiations"; "an initiatory step toward a treaty"; "his first (or maiden) speech in Congress"; "the liner's maiden voyage"


  1. Initiativenoun

    a character trait manifested in a readiness and ability to initiate action; an enterprising spirit; a go-getting attitude; energy; drive; get-up-and-go.

  2. Initiativenoun

    in interactive activities, such as conversation or games, the right or opportunity to set the course of action; as, to have the initiative.


  1. initiativenoun

    A beginning; a first move.

  2. initiativenoun

    A new development; a fresh approach to something; a new way of dealing with a problem.

  3. initiativenoun

    The ability to act first or on one's own.

  4. initiativenoun

    An issue to be voted on, brought to the ballot by a sufficient number of signatures from among the voting public.

  5. initiativeadjective

    In which voter initiatives can be brought to the ballot.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Initiativeadjective

    serving to initiate; inceptive; initiatory; introductory; preliminary

  2. Initiativenoun

    an introductory step or movement; an act which originates or begins

  3. Initiativenoun

    the right or power to introduce a new measure or course of action, as in legislation; as, the initiative in respect to revenue bills is in the House of Representatives

  4. Etymology: [Cf. F. initiative.]


  1. Initiative

    In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote. The initiative may take the form of a direct initiative or an indirect initiative. In a direct initiative, a measure is put directly to a vote after being submitted by a petition. In an indirect initiative, a measure is first referred to the legislature, and then put to a popular vote only if not enacted by the legislature. The vote may be on a proposed statute, constitutional amendment, charter amendment or local ordinance, or to simply oblige the executive or legislature to consider the subject by submitting it to the order of the day. It is a form of direct democracy.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. initiative

    Doing the right thing without being told.

Editors Contribution

  1. initiative

    The right or power to introduce legislation.

    The natural resources transparency initiative is an inspired form of unity government organization with an accurate and specific vision, goal, strategy, plans and policies.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 14, 2020  

  2. initiative

    To feel, know, understand and see the future and act proactively to create change.

    She is always looking forward and seeing the effect of the current knowing the future is being created by cnanging and evolving now.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 14, 2020  

  3. initiative

    To take just and fair action.

    She is well known for using her initiative as she has an amazing ability and capacity to feel, know and understand intuitively.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 14, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Initiative' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2809

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Initiative' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3224

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Initiative' in Nouns Frequency: #843

How to pronounce Initiative?

How to say Initiative in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Initiative in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Initiative in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of Initiative in a Sentence

  1. Matthew McLaughlin:

    The courts, rightly or wrongly, treat the initiative as sort of the citizen right, and they are reluctant to get involved in trying to get rid of it, at least in advance, by using the law to keep something from being presented to the electorate.

  2. Steve Tsang:

    I do think this is very much an initiative that Xi Jinping approved, if not started.

  3. Patrick Roddy:

    None of our tenure here are we going to be able to move the ball down on the road on any major initiative.

  4. Bill Clinton:

    There’s never been anything like the Clinton Global Initiative.

  5. Elise Stefanik:

    More than 280 — that beats last cycle’s record where we elected the highest number of Republican women ever, which was an initiative I was proud to lead.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Initiative

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Initiative »


Find a translation for the Initiative definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these Initiative definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "Initiative." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 7 Oct. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Initiative>.

    Are we missing a good definition for Initiative? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    the official who holds an office
    • A. elusive
    • B. incumbent
    • C. butch
    • D. ultimo

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Initiative: