pro- + active; originally coined 1933 by Paul Whiteley and Gerald Blankfort in a psychology paper, used in technical sense. Used in a popular context and sense (courage, perseverance) in 1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning by neuropsychiatrist Viktor Emil Frankl, in the context of dealing with the Holocaust, as contrast with reactive.
Audio (US) (file)
- Acting in advance to deal with an expected change or difficulty
- We can deal with each problem as it pops up, or we can take a proactive stance and try to prevent future problems.
- ^ OED
- ^ Whiteley, Paul L.; Blankfort, Gerald (1933), “The Influence of Certain Prior Conditions Upon Learning”, Journal of Experimental Psychology (APA) 16: 843–851
- ^ The good grammar guide, by Richard Palmer, 2003, p. 157
- The Word Detective, Issue of February 5, 2001