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Definition the ability and tendency to determine what should be done and to start doing it without instruction


to start something
The exact meaning of starting something depends upon the context. For example:
  • "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 something
  • "a ballot initiative" — a proposed law that is started by citizen petition rather than by the legislature (applicable in many jurisdictions such as California)
  • She is smart, dedicated and has initiative. I expect to see her promoted soon.
initiative = the ability and tendency to determine what should be done and to start doing it without instruction
  • I admire her initiative.
  • He did it on his own initiative. His boss didn't even know about it.
  • initiative = started a task without instruction
  • Once the advance was stalled, we lost the initiative.
  • 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
  • initiative = proposal or thing started
  • Coach'll probably congratulate you on your initiative!
    Arthur Miller  --  Death of a Salesman
  • initiative = determining what should be done and doing it without instruction
  • Soupy was excellent when set a task, but had no initiative and was unused to planning.
    Larry McMurtry  --  Lonesome Dove
  • 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
  • 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
  • But the initiative had passed to the Israelis, and the tension was gone from it by now.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • He must seize the initiative, or at least try to seize it; he must keep Grace from reading his mind.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • She's taken the initiative for the evening, making reservations at a place in midtown, which Donald and Astrid have recommended.
    Jhumpa Lahiri  --  The Namesake
  • There were several attempts to snatch at them, but it was the mayor's wife who took the initiative.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • Women, if one may put it this way, are reactive creatures, with little original initiative, careless to the point of being passive.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • You see my initiative doesn't go beyond putting myself at your disposal."
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • You think he wants me to take the initiative?
    Ken Kesey  --  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • I was aware of the demand for action, and, my old helplessness strong upon me, I was waiting for him to take the initiative.
    Jack London  --  Sea Wolf
  • It was Pauline, who had made the trip from Manchester to Boston on her own initiative.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®Wikipedia article - Citizen InitiativeWikipedia article - Initiative
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