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Originally a psychological term indicating an empowered, self-reliant individual, this has evolved through misuse into a neo-antonym of 'reactive', and is used as such to emphasise the preferability of one attitude or course of action over another. It connotes alertness, awareness and preparedness, and seeks to dispel any conceivable impression of incompetence.

'Proactive' is interesting in that it is perhaps the classic example of the unnecessary neologism. It serves as an antonym to 'reactive', yet 'reactive' is itself the antonym of 'active'.

Arguably, since 'proactive' is now perhaps more widely used than 'active' for the specific purpose covered by the newer word, 'proactive' must be recognised as a legitimate word. The cult of hatred that has understandably grown up around the word can only help it endure further.
One is 'active' as opposed to being 'passive' or 'reactive'. One is 'proactive' as opposed to 'speaking English'.
by Peter Gibney December 20, 2006
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Apr 19 Word of the Day
A sarcastic name for singer and songwriter Dua Lipa
Oh my god have you heard that new Dula Peep song?
by Expired Ravioli February 03, 2021
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a word smart people use to sound dumb, "proactive" supposes a superior degree of action and, perforce, an inferior inaction and can be likened to the attempt to qualify an absolute. a patent nonsense and specious construct deriving from the same font of blather from which insurance and real estate industry "professionals" drink freely, whence also comes;
"pricepoint", "impactful", "empowered" and "that said". an example of the fundamental paradox of the school of polysyllabic palaver which proves more is actually less.
i empowered my client when the pricepoint i suggested proved impactful to the sale of their home. that said, i was proactive.
by lexicali slim September 26, 2009
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A word dumb poeple use to sound smart.
"Whats your opinion on the matter, Bob?"
"Oh, well I'm proactive."
by T April 25, 2003
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The things you do that you don't have to do that make all the difference when it's to late to do anything about it!
by zowie123 February 04, 2010
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according to me, proactive means getting some other significant information, then getting the desired information and then recalling the desired information
by darshan g godbole August 27, 2003
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The most powerful, non prescription laxative.
If you are suffering from constipation, ask your chemist for new Proactive.
by Loony Choon January 13, 2004
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