initiative Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “initiative” in the English Dictionary

"initiative" in British English

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initiativenoun

uk   /ɪˈnɪʃ.ə.tɪv/  us   /-t̬ɪv/
  • initiative noun (NEW PLAN)

C1 [C] a new ​plan or ​process to ​achieve something or ​solve a ​problem: The peace initiative was ​welcomed by both ​sides.

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  • initiative noun (JUDGMENT)

C1 [U] the ​ability to use ​yourjudgment to make ​decisions and do things without ​needing to be told what to do: Although she was ​quiteyoung, she showed a lot of initiative and was ​promoted to ​manager after a ​year. I shouldn't always have to ​tell you what to do, useyour initiative (= use ​your own ​judgment to ​decide what to do)!on your own initiative If you do something on ​your own initiative, you ​plan it and ​decide to do it yourself without anyone ​telling you what to do.
(Definition of initiative from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"initiative" in American English

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initiativenoun

 us   /ɪˈnɪʃ·ə·t̬ɪv, ɪˈnɪʃ·i·ə-/
  • initiative noun (ABILITY TO TAKE ACTION)

[U] the ​ability to ​judge what ​needs to be done and take ​action, esp. without ​suggestion from other ​people: Lisa ​showed initiative on the ​job and was ​soonpromoted.
  • initiative noun (NEW BEGINNING)

[C] a new ​attempt to ​achieve a ​goal or ​solve a ​problem, or a new ​method for doing this: The ​defensesecretaryannounced a ​major initiative to ​upgradeourmilitarypreparedness.
(Definition of initiative from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"initiative" in Business English

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initiativenoun

uk   us   /ɪˈnɪʃətɪv/
[C] a new ​plan or ​action to ​improve something or solve a problem: a marketing/​cost-cutting initiative a diplomatic/​peace initiative an education/​environmental/​economic initiative
[U] the ​ability to use your own ​judgment to make decisions without ​asking another person's ​advice: take/seize/lose the initiative The group's ​legaladvisers said they were taking the initiative to ​tackleonlineprivacyissues. Candidates for the ​job must be capable of ​working on their own initiative.
(Definition of initiative from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“initiative” in Business English

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