Meaning of “initiative” in the English Dictionary

"initiative" in English

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uk /ɪˈnɪʃ.ə.tɪv/ us /ɪˈnɪʃ.ə.t̬ɪv/

initiative noun (JUDGMENT)

C1 [ U ] the ability to use your judgment to make decisions and do things without needing to be told what to do:

Although she was quite young, 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, use your 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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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 soon promoted.

initiative noun (NEW BEGINNING)

[ C ] a new attempt to achieve a goal or solve a problem, or a new method for doing this:

(Definition of “initiative” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"initiative" in Business English

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uk /ɪˈnɪʃətɪv/ us

[ C ] a new plan or action to improve something or solve a problem:

a marketing/cost-cutting initiative
a diplomatic/peace 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 legal advisers said they were taking the initiative to tackle online privacy issues.
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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In the field of defence, the last few days have brought the launch of an initiative that could take us far.
The people who have participated in this initiative have learnt the importance of learning together, of innovation, of sharing projects and good practices and of understanding and tolerating each other.
The initiative adopts a completely new approach, which is to develop innovative employment models within transnational geographical or sectoral development partnerships.
Our thanks should go to the rapporteurs who have taken the initiative and, on the basis of broad-ranging discussions, have presented this topic.
We voted in favour of this initiative.
In particular, we will now participate in the closing conference of this initiative, which will focus precisely on the issue of sport and development.
I now await your next initiative.
The new initiative will continue to pursue these goals by reinforcing them, while particularly promoting equal opportunities between men and women and integrating socially marginalised and disadvantaged groups.
I believe that an initiative of this kind carries more weight and has more far-reaching impact if twenty-five states adopt it.
In a normal parliamentary democracy, the parliament has the right of initiative and also the last word on legislation, budget and the forming of coalitions.