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initiative

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noun initiative pronunciation in British English /ɪˈnɪʃətɪv/
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singularinitiative
pluralinitiatives
  1. 1
    [uncountable] the ability to decide in an independent way what to do and when to do it
    Mr Hills showed initiative and bravery when dealing with a dangerous situation.
    use your initiative: Employees are encouraged to use their initiative if faced with a problem.
    on your own initiative (=without other people telling you to do something): He developed the plan on his own initiative.
  2. 2
    [countable] an important action that is intended to solve a problem
    a number of initiatives designed to address the problem of child poverty
  3. 4

    the initiative

    the opportunity to take action before other people do
    take the initiative: She would have to take the initiative in order to improve their relationship.
    lose/gain/seize the initiative: We have lost the initiative and allowed our opponents to dominate the discussion.
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