pro·duc·tive (prə-dŭktĭv, prō-)
1. Producing or capable of producing crops, goods, or services, especially in abundance: a productive stretch of land; a productive employee.
2. Marked by abundant production or achievement: a productive career. See Synonyms at fertile.
3. Yielding favorable or useful results; constructive: a productive suggestion.
4. Economics Of or involved in the creation of goods and services to produce wealth or value.
5. Effective in achieving specified results; originative. Used with of: policies productive of much harm.
a. Producing mucus or sputum: a productive cough.
b. Forming new tissue: a productive inflammation.
a. Of or relating to the linguistic skills of speaking and writing.
b. Of or relating to a linguistic element or rule that can be used to form further examples of a particular feature or pattern. The English past tense suffix -ed is productive since it continues to be added to new verbs to form the past tense.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.