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initiative
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initiative


She is smart, dedicated and has initiative. I expect to see her promoted soon.
  the ability and tendency to determine what should be done and to start doing it without instruction

or:

to start something (see word notes for a more detailed definition of this sense based upon context)
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initiative initiatives
Strongly Associated with:   initiate
Notes:
Here is a more detailed description of how initiative is used to mean to start something:
  • "She did it on her own initiative." — started it without anyone telling her to
  • "She seized the initiative." — started actions that force others to react to her rather than her having to react to them
  • "the peace initiative" — a plan or the start of actions to bring about peace
  • "a ballot initiative" — a proposed law that is started by citizen petition rather than by the legislature (applicable in many jurisdictions such as California)
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Wikipedia article - Citizen Initiative
Wikipedia article - Initiative
Samples:
  • She is smart, dedicated and has initiative. I expect to see her promoted soon.
  • He did it on his own initiative. His boss didn’t even know about it.
  • I admire her initiative.
  • Once the advance was stalled, we lost the initiative.

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  • The CEO introduced a new initiative to improve customer satisfaction.
  • The ballot initiative would limit real growth in state expenditures to growth in population.
  • For the second week in a row, I leave out Hilly’s bathroom initiative.
    Kathryn Stockett  --  The Help
  • Coach’ll probably congratulate you on your initiative!
    Arthur Miller  --  Death of a Salesman
  • Thank goodness for the Storking Initiative, that wonderful law that allows girls like her a far better alternative.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • We the Coalition hereby grant the PCC express permission to fully implement their PC Initiative #1 as presented in full and attached below.
    James Dashner  --  The Kill Order

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  • That very morning, a message from a college friend, Tania Schwartz, came through, pleading for help with an initiative her brother was spearheading.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • The project would eventually be named the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • As to establishing contact with the study species — this seemed out of the question at the moment, unless the wolves themselves decided to take the initiative.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • Before too long folk were taking initiative to sing out their own verses when the chorus was over.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • At thirty minutes past ten, Brown pulled a third alarm (which would bring every one of the city’s remaining fire engines to the scene) — once again on his own initiative and once again for the wrong box.
    Jim Murphy  --  The Great Fire
  • Someone over there at North South Bank is on top of things, because as the letter states: Taking the initiative to improve the property as a renter shows a commitment to the values we at North South Bank hold dear.
    Holly Goldberg Sloan  --  Counting by 7s
  • Only his wife was looking at him, her face alight with interest as he discussed the value of hard labor, then the deplorable lack of initiative in the younger generation, then the benefits conferred by having lived through the Great Depression.
    Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  • Mr. Nielsen is a member of the chamber of commerce, and conversations often include discussion of initiatives and plans for stimulating business in this "unruly" economy, as he calls it.
    Christina Baker Kline  --  Orphan Train
  • I knew that I must find the train to Uelzen, but months of being told what to do had left me robbed of initiative.
    Corrie Ten Boom  --  The Hiding Place
  • Necessity had forced me to this, not only because I had no extra money for entertainment but because, as a newcomer to the metropolis, less shy than simply proudly withdrawn, I lacked both the opportunity and the initiative to make friends.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Why Dougal, generally the mirror of his brother’s opinions, should have shown such initiative in raising money for the House of Stuart.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Now I had taken the initiative and bought one anyway.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • If something went wrong, her sons would have to take the initiative to call for help.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • Also, the individual soldiers were given little initiative.
    Orson Scott Card  --  Ender’s Game
  • Armstrong being busy with the collapsed woman, Lombard was free once more to take the initiative.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • It was never an institutional initiative.
    Rebecca Skloot  --  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • There were several attempts to snatch at them, but it was the mayor’s wife who took the initiative.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • Before coming out here, I took the initiative to look up "candid" in the dictionary.
    Jay Asher  --  Thirteen Reasons Why
  • Started in 1964 as a federal initiative, Job Corps was designed to help disadvantaged youth.
    Wes Moore  --  The Other Wes Moore
  • Marvelous! I mean, I think I’ve shown quite a bit of initiative with the weather channel, eh?
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lost Hero
  • On their own initiative the Congolese seem unable to produce much in the way of hair—half of them are bald as a bug, even the girls.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • A reluctant elevator-boy went for a box full of straw and some milk, to which he added on his own initiative a tin of large, hard dog-biscuits — one of which decomposed apathetically in the saucer of milk all afternoon.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • ’The remaining quarter of the bedsheet I’ve set aside for myself as a reward for my enterprise, work and initiative.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • In the famous nineteenth-century novels of Horatio Alger, young boys born into poverty rise to riches through a combination of pluck and initiative.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • But the initiative had passed to the Israelis, and the tension was gone from it by now.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • The assistant manager had exhausted his power of initiative by volunteering to call her.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • Degrees of ability vary, but the basic principle remains the same: the degree of a man’s independence, initiative and personal love for his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • But it was a long time before I ventured to take the initiative, and still longer before I could find something appropriate to say at the right time.
    Helen Keller  --  Story of My Life
  • In 1996, I went to an ordinary block of two-bedroom homes in East Los Angeles to understand why nearly a third of California Latinos had supported Proposition 187, a voter initiative to bar illegal immigrants from schools, hospitals, and most public assistance.
    Sonia Nazario  --  Enrique’s Journey
  • Blomkvist took the initiative.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • For the first time they decide that they will take the initiative, and invade us — and pick you up, too, of course.
    John Wyndham  --  The Chrysalids
  • You think he wants me to take the initiative?
    Ken Kesey  --  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Pecola always took the initiative with Marie, who, once inspired, was difficult to stop.
    Toni Morrison  --  The Bluest Eye
  • They were to use their own initiative and be innovative as they went forward.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Blink
  • A servant loses his initiative.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • Late in the afternoon, when he went ashore for a while, Mr Tanimoto, upon whose energy and initiative many had come to depend, heard people begging for food.
    John Hersey  --  Hiroshima
  • He said that the Emperor Alexander did not consider Kurakin’s demand for his passports a sufficient cause for war; that Kurakin had acted on his own initiative and without his sovereign’s assent, that the Emperor Alexander did not desire war, and had no relations with England.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • He had no genius for organizing, for initiative, or for order even.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Heart of Darkness
  • They’ve lost the initiative, which means they’ve lost the war.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • At last Eragon realized that he had to take the initiative if he were to ever have a chance of mending his relationship with her.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
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Associated words [difficulty]:   initiative [1] , initiate [1]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Business, Public Policy & Politics, Law
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