Meaning of “initiative” in the English Dictionary

"initiative" in British English

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initiativenoun

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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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 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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initiativenoun

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)