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.
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- 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.
- The Word Detective, Issue of February 5, 2001