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[kuh-lek-tiv] /kəˈlɛk tɪv/
formed by collection.
forming a whole; combined:
the collective assets of a corporation and its subsidiaries.
of or characteristic of a group of individuals taken together:
the collective wishes of the membership.
organized according to the principles of collectivism:
a collective farm.
a collective body; aggregate.
a business, farm, etc., jointly owned and operated by the members of a group.
a unit of organization or the organization in a collectivist system.
Origin of collective
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English collectif (< Middle French) < Latin collēctīvus, equivalent to collēct(us) (past participle of colligere; see collect1) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
collectively, adverb
noncollective, adjective
noncollectively, adverb
uncollective, adjective
uncollectively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for collective
  • It distracts us from the need for collective action, and it doesn't add up to enough.
  • We stare in the face of the bureaucracy and shrug our shoulders in a collective act of defeat.
  • The main mechanism whereby unions affect pay and conditions is collective bargaining.
  • collective bargaining is a good strategy when looking to get the best price on a given product or service.
  • Our collective fat phobia has driven producers to breed leaner and leaner pork.
  • They are specters from our collective childhood, observed from behind half-finished sandcastles.
  • Contingent faculty have made strides in collective bargaining, but the management of their unions is one realm beyond their reach.
  • Yes, the governors are making a big mistake in trying to destroy collective bargaining.
  • collective imagination can flourish only if everyone feels free of anxiety and full of trust.
  • collective bargaining, technology leaders say, can bring high-end services to campus at lower prices.
British Dictionary definitions for collective


formed or assembled by collection
forming a whole or aggregate
of, done by, or characteristic of individuals acting in cooperation
  1. a cooperative enterprise or unit, such as a collective farm
  2. the members of such a cooperative
short for collective noun
Derived Forms
collectively, adverb
collectiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for collective

early 15c., from Middle French collectif, from Latin collectivus, from collectus (see collect). As a noun, short for collective farm (in the USSR) it dates from 1925. collective farm first attested 1919 in translations of Lenin. Collective bargaining coined 1891 by Beatrice Webb; defined in U.S. 1935 by the Wagner Act. Collective noun is recorded from 1510s; collective security first attested 1934 in speech by Winston Churchill.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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