of or that which does something


  • abortive

    An abortive attempt or action is cut short before it is finished; hence, it is unsuccessful.

  • purgative

    A purgative agent completely cleans something out.

  • discursive

    A piece of writing is discursive if it includes a lot of information that is not relevant to the main subject.

  • figurative

    If you use words in a figurative way, they have an abstract or symbolic meaning beyond their literal interpretation.

  • substantive

    Substantive issues are the most important, serious, and real issues of a subject.

  • lucrative

    If a business is lucrative, it makes a lot of money.

  • tentative

    To be tentative is to be hesitant or uncertain about something; an agreement or decision of this kind is likely to have changes before it reaches its final form.

  • cognitive

    Cognitive describes those things related to judgment, memory, and other mental processes of knowing.

  • reductive

    If you describe something as reductive, such as an explanation or a theory, you disapprove of it because it describes or explains something in such a simple way that it misses important details.

  • effusive

    Someone who is effusive expresses happiness, pleasure, admiration, praise, etc., in an extremely enthusiastic way.

  • acquisitive

    When you are acquisitive, you are driven to pursue and own wealth and possessions—often in a greedy fashion.

  • pervasive

    If something is pervasive, it appears to be everywhere.

  • impassive

    If someone is impassive, they are not showing any emotion.

  • introspective

    If someone is introspective, they spend a lot of time examining their own feelings, thoughts, or ideas.

  • incisive

    If an idea or thought is incisive, it is expressed in a penetrating and knowledgeable manner that is clear and brief; additionally, it can demonstrate impressive understanding of related ideas or thoughts.

  • putative

    Something putative is supposed to be real; for example, a putative leader is one who everyone assumes is the leader—even though they may not be in reality.

  • pensive

    If you are pensive, you are deeply thoughtful, often in a sad and/or serious way.

  • pejorative

    A pejorative word, phrase, or expression expresses a bad opinion of someone or something.

  • delusive

    Something that is delusive deceives you by giving a false belief about yourself or the situation you are in.

  • unobtrusive

    If someone acts in an unobtrusive way, their actions are not easily noticed and do not stand out in any way.

  • objective

    If someone is objective, they base their opinions on facts rather than personal feelings or beliefs.

  • divisive

    Something that is divisive is likely to cause arguments between people.

  • abrasive

    Someone who has an abrasive manner is unkind and rude, wearing away at you in an irritating fashion.

  • furtive

    If someone behaves in a furtive way, they do things sneakily and secretly in order to avoid being noticed.

  • curative

    Something that has curative properties can be used for curing people's illnesses.

  • missive

    A missive is a written letter, especially a formal, legal, or important one.

  • palliative

    A palliative action makes a bad situation seem better; nevertheless, it does not actually solve the problem.

  • plaintive

    A plaintive sound or voice expresses sadness.

  • punitive

    A punitive action is intended to punish someone.

  • restive

    A restive person is not willing or able to keep still or be patient because they are bored or dissatisfied with something; consequently, they are becoming difficult to control.

  • assertive

    When you act in an assertive fashion, you know what you want and strongly persist in getting it.

  • cohesive

    A cohesive argument sticks together, working as a consistent, unified whole.

  • conducive

    A conducive agent is something that is favorable or helpful in getting something to happen.

  • definitive

    A definitive opinion on an issue cannot be challenged; therefore, it is the final word or the most authoritative pronouncement on that issue.

  • derivative

    A derivative is something borrowed from something else, such as an English word that comes from another language.

  • directive

    When you are given a directive, you are given an instruction or order that directs you to do something.

  • disincentive

    A disincentive to do something does not encourage you to do that thing; rather, it restrains and hinders you from doing it.

  • expansive

    Something expansive has a wide scope or is large in area.

  • formative

    Something formative shapes or influences the growth of something else.

  • imperative

    When it is imperative that something be done, it is absolutely necessary or very important that it be accomplished.

  • impulsive

    Someone who is impulsive tends to do things without thinking about them ahead of time; therefore, their actions can be unpredictable.

  • inconclusive

    If the results of something are inconclusive, they are uncertain or provide no final answers.

  • inductive

    Inductive reasoning involves the observation of data to arrive at a general conclusion or principle.

  • inquisitive

    If you are inquisitive, you are eager to learn and highly curious—sometimes too much so.

  • intrusive

    An intrusive person intrudes, butts in, or interferes where they are not welcome.

  • invective

    If you hurl invective at another person, you are verbally abusing or highly criticizing them.

  • prerogative

    Your prerogative is your right or privilege to do something.

  • repulsive

    Something that is repulsive is offensive, highly unpleasant, or just plain disgusting.

  • subjective

    A subjective opinion is not based upon facts or hard evidence; rather, it rests upon someone's personal feelings or beliefs about a matter or concern.

  • subversive

    A subversive act destroys or does great harm to a government or other institution.

  • superlative

    A superlative deed or act is excellent, outstanding, or the best of its kind.

  • vindictive

    If you are vindictive, you want to take revenge upon someone who has done something bad to you.

  • apprehensive

    When you are apprehensive about a future event, you are nervous or fearful about it.

  • evasive

    When you are being evasive, you are trying to avoid trouble or not give a direct answer to a question.

  • illustrative

    An illustrative example serves to explain or describe something, often by providing pictures.

  • cumulative

    A cumulative process builds, increases, or grows slowly over time.

  • distinctive

    Distinctive qualities set people or things apart from everyone or everything else—they are what make people or things different or unique.

  • submissive

    When someone is submissive, they are highly obedient and often give in to the demands of others.

  • indicative

    One thing that is indicative of another suggests or shows it in some way.

  • vituperative

    Vituperative remarks are full of hate, anger, and cruel criticism.

  • negative

    Something negative, such as a result or an answer, is not good in some way or marks a *no* about something.

  • aggressive

    An aggressive person is likely to attack someone or something; a person of this type can also really want to win and so works very hard to do so.

  • active

    An active person likes to move and has lots of energy.

  • consecutive

    Consecutive events happen one right after the other with no breaks in between.

  • native

    Someone who is native to a country was born there; this word can also describe a skill with which someone is born.

  • attractive

    An attractive person or thing looks good and is pleasing to others.

  • expensive

    Something expensive costs a lot of money or has a high price.

  • attentive

    If you are attentive in the classroom, you are very aware of what is going on because you are focused on what the teacher is telling you.

  • alternative

    An alternative is another choice offered to you in addition to something that you already have.

  • positive

    If you are positive about something, you are either very sure about it or you are feeling good about it—or both.

  • adjective

    of or relating to or functioning as an adjective

  • expletive

    profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger

  • explosive

    serving to explode or characterized by explosion or sudden outburst

  • possessive

    serving to express or indicate possession

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