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productive ‎(comparative more productive, superlative most productive)

  1. Capable of producing something, especially in abundance; fertile.
  2. Yielding good or useful results; constructive.
  3. Of, or relating to the creation of goods or services.
  4. (linguistics, of an affix or word construction rule) Consistently applicable to any of an open set of words.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 138:
      Moreover, this relationship is a productive one, in the sense that when new Adjectives are created (e.g. ginormous concocted out of gigantic and enormous), then the corresponding Adverb form (in this case ginormously) can also be used. And in those exceptional cases where Adverbs do not end in -ly, they generally have the same form as the corresponding Adjective, as with hard, fast, etc.
  5. (medicine) Of a cough, producing mucus or sputum from the respiratory tract.
  6. (medicine) Of inflammation, producing new tissue.

Usage notes[edit]

In English, the plural suffix “-es” is productive because it can be appended to an open set of words (singular nouns ending in sibilants). Thus, if a new word with that pattern becomes an English noun (e.g. *examplex), it would have a default plural (e.g. *examplexes) because “-es” is productive.



Related terms[edit]


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  1. feminine singular of productif