favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters: a progressive mayor.
making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.: a progressive community.
characterized by such progress, or by continuous improvement.
(initial capital letter) of or pertaining to any of the Progressive parties in politics.
going forward or onward; passing successively from one member of a series to the next; proceeding step by step.
noting or pertaining to a form of taxation in which the rate increases with certain increases in taxable income.
of or pertaining to progressive education: progressive schools.
Grammar. noting a verb aspect or other verb category that indicates action or state going on at a temporal point of reference.
Medicine/Medical. continuously increasing in extent or severity, as a disease.
a person who is progressive or who favors progress or reform, especially in political matters.
(initial capital letter) a member of a Progressive party.
the progressive aspect.
a verb form or construction in the progressive, as are thinking in They are thinking about it.

1600–10; progress + -ive

progressively, adverb
progressiveness, progressivity [proh-gre-siv-i-tee] , noun
antiprogressive, adjective
nonprogressive, adjective, noun
nonprogressively, adverb
nonprogressiveness, noun
quasi-progressive, adjective
quasi-progressively, adverb
semiprogressive, adjective, noun
semiprogressively, adverb
semiprogressiveness, noun
ultraprogressive, adjective, noun
ultraprogressively, adverb
ultraprogressiveness, noun
unprogressive, adjective
unprogressively, adverb
unprogressiveness, noun

1, 9. liberal. 5. successive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
progressive (prəˈɡrɛsɪv)
1.  of or relating to progress
2.  proceeding or progressing by steps or degrees
3.  (often capital) favouring or promoting political or social reform through government action, or even revolution, to improve the lot of the majority: a progressive policy
4.  denoting or relating to an educational system that allows flexibility in learning procedures, based on activities determined by the needs and capacities of the individual child, the aim of which is to integrate academic with social development
5.  Compare regressive (of a tax or tax system) graduated so that the rate increases relative to the amount taxed
6.  (esp of a disease) advancing in severity, complexity, or extent
7.  (of a dance, card game, etc) involving a regular change of partners after one figure, one game, etc
8.  denoting an aspect of verbs in some languages, including English, used to express prolonged or continuous activity as opposed to momentary or habitual activity: a progressive aspect of the verb ``to walk'' is ``is walking.''
9.  a person who advocates progress, as in education, politics, etc
10.  a.  the progressive aspect of a verb
 b.  a verb in this aspect

Progressive (prəˈɡrɛsɪv)
1.  (US) history a member or supporter of a Progressive Party
2.  Canadian history a member or supporter of a chiefly agrarian reform movement advocating the nationalization of railways, low tariffs, an end to party politics, and similar measures: important in the early 1920s
3.  of, relating to, or characteristic of a Progressive Party, Progressive movement, or Progressives

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1607, "characterized by advancement" (in action, character, etc.), from progress (q.v.). Of taxation, from 1889; of jazz, from 1947. Meaning "characterized by striving for change and innovation, avant-garde, liberal" is from 1908; the noun in this sense is first attested 1865.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

progressive pro·gres·sive (prə-grěs'ĭv)

  1. Moving forward; advancing.

  2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments, as of a course of treatment.

  3. Tending to become more severe or wider in scope, as of a disease or paralysis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
There is, however, no doubt of the fact that the dream is progressively
  forgotten on awakening.
And they cut terraces into the hillsides, progressively steeper, from the
  valleys up the slopes.
As the mammoth moved from ancestral to steppe to woolly forms, the skull and
  jaw became progressively shorter and higher.
Sea ice on which to hunt is available for progressively shorter periods,
  forcing bears to fast for longer periods.
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